Plant-Based Universities today announces it has been nominated for the 2024 Earthshot Prize, an award founded by Prince William in 2021 that aims to provide support for groups offering climate solutions .
The nomination comes after the group “Generation Vegan” campaigned for the addition of a plant-based category within the award, resulting in the inclusion of Dr Joseph Poore and Dr Hannah Ritchie on the expert panel .
Plant-Based Universities claim this is “a clear shift towards recognising the utmost importance of a plant-based food system” and the group welcomes the nomination as a sign of change.
After achieving nine successful Students’ Union motions towards 100% plant-based menus, Plant-Based Universities has been nominated for the 2024 Earthshot Prize . The prize began in 2021 and counts former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern amongst its trustees.
Michelle Farnham, Coordinator of the Plant-Based Universities Campaign said:
“We are delighted to be nominated for the Earthshot Prize. This alone represents that we must take the transition to a plant-based food system seriously. Students worldwide are stepping up and showing true leadership, with hundreds working to create just and sustainable university catering. We hope this sends a strong signal to other institutions that the time for change is now.
Young people are blazing a trail towards a brighter future. The world is changing and Plant-Based Universities is at the forefront of that transformation, making positive changes for students, staff, farmers, and other food producers alike.”
A 2020 study led by an Oxford academic found that, even if fossil fuel emissions were eliminated immediately, emissions from our global food system would push us over the 1.5°C global warming target ; and a 2019 Harvard study suggested that the UK could be carbon-negative if it switched to a plant-based food system and mass rewilding, before even cutting out fossil fuels .
Professor Mark Maslin FRGS, FRSA, Pro-Vice Provost of the UCL Climate Crisis Grand Challenge, University College London said:
“Transitioning to a global plant-based food system is critical to reducing both the climate and ecological crisis we’re facing, along with ending the burning of fossil fuels. The importance of this transition is acknowledged by the Plant-Based Universities grassroots work being nominated for the Earthshot Prize. I was delighted to add my name to their open letter in September calling on universities to transition to 100% plant-based catering and I am proud that my own institution UCL is already setting the example and we hope other Universities make the transition as it really makes a difference.”
Plant-Based Universities, an Animal Rising campaign, is an international initiative of students who are pushing for their universities and student unions to adopt 100% plant-based catering . The group claims that universities have an obligation to follow the scientific research that they produce, detailing the environmental impacts of animal farming and fishing. The campaign is active in over 75 institutions, with the group encouraging interested students to sign up to run local campaigns.
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