Enfield council in London has become the first local authority in the UK to announce such a move.
From December this year, the Enfield council in London will only offer vegan and vegetarian options in events where it provides the catering.
The move, which will be the first in the U.K, is part of the council’s ‘action plan’ to fight climate change after it declared a climate emergency.
“Our planet is facing an existential threat from climate change,” Enfield Councillor Ian Barnes said in its 40-page climate report.
“The emergency is real and the action to remedy it must be local, national, and global. In response to rising awareness and justified protest, Enfield Council has declared a climate emergency,” he continued.
The local authority also aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 as part of its other sustainability commitments.
“We must innovate to do this, taking bold and sometimes unpopular action to tackle the impact of climate change,” he said of the council’s initial plans to reduce emissions.
While the council aims to switch to renewable energy and convert its fleet to 100 percent electric by 2030, it will also actively work to reduce emissions by initiating activities like transportation, waste management, and housing.
“We already have a track record of driving emissions down as an organisation and influencing better behaviour across the borough, but more is needed,” Barnes said.
Councillor Barnes’ decision has been welcomed by vegan charity and animal welfare groups.
The Animal Welfare Party said: “Bravo to Enfield Council taking the visionary decision to take meat off the menu at council catered events – something AWP has called for for several years. Eating plant based is better for people, animals & the environment. #ClimateCrisis”
Sam Cavery, from the Vegan Society commented: “A comparison of even the lowest impact beef with plant protein such as peas shows that beef is responsible for six times more greenhouse gasses and 36 times more land
“For councils that have declared a Climate Emergency this would be a simple policy to enact which would have a positive impact.
“We hope other councils and public sector organisations will be inspired to follow Enfield Council’s lead.”
The proposal has however been panned by Conservatives.
Oppostion leader, councillor Joanne Laban said: “The Labour council’s plan to ban meat at the events it holds where catering is provided is ridiculous.
“Enfield Council should be supporting local farmers and butchers at this time and pledge to use their produce at future events.
“It beggars belief that as we continue to deal with the worst pandemic in a century Enfield Council believes it is priority to ban meat at its events.
“It is people’s choice what they eat, not Enfield Council’s.”
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