This town is first in Canada to go veggie for climate change


Published April 10, 2024 at 10:04 am

rainbow lake plant based canada

A Canadian town has become the first to sign a plant-based treaty for climate change.

Rainbow Lake, a community in northern Alberta, endorsed the Plant Based Treaty, becoming the first town in Canada to join the initiative.

The Plant Based Treaty is modelled after the Fossil Fuel Treaty, and aims to put food systems at the forefront of combating the climate crisis to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems caused by animal agriculture and to promote a shift towards healthier, sustainable plant-based diets, according to the website.

There are currently 27 municipal governments worldwide, including Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Edinburgh, which have signed the treaty.

Rainbow Lake is one of many communities impacted by forest fires. Last June, hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate for 27 days as wildfires burned south of the community.

Scientists have attributed the rise in forest fires to a warming climate. In western U.S., annual average temperatures have increased by 2 C and the fire season has grown by three months since the 1970s.

In endorsing the Plant Based Treaty, Rainbow Lake will put informative posters in their community and encourage more locally grown fruits and vegetables in community gardens and greenhouses.

Home to around 700 residents, Rainbow Lake is a remote town in northwest Alberta.

Other plans for Rainbow Lake include having the town entirely powered and heated by geothermal energy by 2028.

Mark Kastiro, interim chief administrative officer, introduced Plant Based Treaty to the municipality.

“The Town of Rainbow Lake is a small northern resource town, committed to making a global difference,” said Kastiro. “We have a number of initiatives focused on reducing our carbon footprint with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. Between our geothermal activities and initiatives such as the Plant Based Treaty, our goal is to become the type of community environmentally conscious families can be proud to live in.”

Gereen Anderson, Plant Based Treaty Canada liaison is excited about this first endorsement.

“I plan on visiting the town soon and providing information on how to shift towards climate-friendly plant-based diets and policies,” Anderson said.

Since its launch in August 2021, 140,000 individuals, five Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, and more than 3,000 groups and businesses, including Odd Burger and chapters of Green Peace and Friends of the Earth have endorsed the Plant Based Treaty.

For more information, see the website here.

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