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New York City institutions have pledged to reduce food emissions by 33% by 2030, according to Mayor Eric Adams. The goal is part of a plan to track the carbon footprint created by food consumption in the city. The new analysis will be part of the city’s annual greenhouse gas inventory and will provide detailed information on emissions created by meat, dairy and other goods. Figures for services such as air travel and health care emissions will also be included. Food is the third largest emitter of CO2 in New York City, after buildings and transport.
the mayor intends to force the townspeople to eat less meat
The Adams administration announced a plan to begin tracking the carbon footprint created by food consumption. As well as a new goal for New York City institutions to reduce food emissions by 33% by 2030, according to Gothamist.
Mayor Eric Adams announced the plan on April 24 along with the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice as part of the city’s commitment to reduce its impact on climate change. At the same event, a new chart was published in the city’s annual greenhouse gas inventory. It tracks the carbon footprint created by the consumption of food in the family – primarily meat and dairy products.
The new analysis is a change to the emission data that is included in the standard version of the annual inventory. It was produced in partnership with American Express, C40 Cities and EcoData Lab.
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Adams, an ardent plant-based advocate, announced a new tracking system and policy at a Brooklyn-based culinary center operated by Health + Hospitals, the city’s healthcare system.
“It’s easy to talk about the emissions that come from vehicles and how that affects our carbon footprint,” Adams said. “But now we have to talk about beef.”
The new household consumption tracking system will be published on the same webpage as the city’s annual list of greenhouse gas sources. The appendix lists greenhouse gas pollution associated with the production and consumption of goods such as alcoholic beverages or clothing, whether or not those goods are manufactured in New York City. It also looks at emissions from highly polluting services such as air travel and lesser known factors such as healthcare.
Overall, 20% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food consumed by families, the mayor said. Food is the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide after buildings and transport. Similar data is published in the controller’s climate panel, which was released a year ago this week.
The city said New Yorkers can help the planet by eating more fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.
For Adams, who was once diagnosed with diabetes, acknowledging that food choices affect climate change coincides with his call for New Yorkers to eat more plant-based foods. During his tenure, the city’s public hospital system has made plant-based food a staple for patients. Last year, public schools added a second day of vegan meals. And this despite the fact that the first reviews were not very good.
The statement said the new plan puts the city on par with London and 13 other cities that include food consumption in their greenhouse gas emissions figures. The study on the environmental impacts of eating foods such as meat and dairy products was first announced about a year ago as part of a collaboration between major cities around the world.
Monday’s announcement clarified targets for the city’s facilities that regularly feed New Yorkers. In addition to reducing food emissions from institutions such as the city’s hospital network and public school system, Adams is asking private sector companies to reduce emissions by 25% by 2030.
Previous attempts by city officials to change the way New Yorkers eat have met with resistance.
In 2012, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried unsuccessfully to enact a wide-ranging ban on soda and other high-sugar drinks. This policy, which the soda producers felt was excessive, was eventually overturned by a state Supreme Court judge.
On Monday, Adams acknowledged that questioning people about food choices will not be easy.
“I don’t know if people are ready for this conversation,” he said.
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