Scientists call on city mayors:

Reduce meat in public

canteens to tackle the

climate emergency!

Are you a scientist?

We are living in a climate emergency. We need to drastically and urgently reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, to maintain a safe climate and planet for us and future generations.

We cannot effectively address the climate crisis we are currently facing without tackling the huge impact that industrial meat production and consumption has on our planet. Animal farming currently causes 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions.  If we do not intervene this could even grow further.

City mayors have the power to do this by changing their procurement policies and reducing the amount of meat and increasing plant-based foods served in public canteens.

We call on city mayors to act now!

This letter was delivered to the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact & C40 global cities summits October 7th to October 12th.

Scientists call on mayors to adopt measures to reduce meat and dairy consumption

Dear Mayors,

Scientific consensus of currently observed and projected future climate and biodiversity impacts clearly calls for the rapid transformation of our society at all scales and across all sectors, in order to maintain a safe climate and planet for the future of humanity.

City leaders play a crucial role in advancing innovative solutions that improve the well-being of citizens while contributing to maintaining a safe climate and planet for future generations (1). One such form of innovative solutions relate to urban food policies, which offer win-win options to improve public health in urban centers and at the same time greatly contribute to reducing climate emissions both in rural and urban areas.

The greenhouse gas footprint of livestock products is approximately 10–100 times greater than plant-based foods (2). Reducing over-consumption of livestock products would greatly reduce the environmental impacts of food production (3). For example, it has recently been shown that a sixth of the carbon footprint of average diets in the Europe is due to tropical deforestation emissions (4). Meat and dairy production require large amounts of feed which often is produced from cropland expanding into newly deforested land (5).

While hunger and under nutrition remain a critical global issue, malnutrition is increasingly becoming a problem: dietary changes from current diets to healthy diets are likely to potentially avoid about 10 million deaths per year (10.8–11.6 million deaths per year, a reduction of 19.0–23.6%) (6).

Studies show that it is not necessary for humans to become vegetarian or vegan to have significant impacts on climate change and food security – a shift globally towards healthy diets would greatly reduce the adverse environmental impacts of food production, and would also benefit human health (7).

City leaders all over the world are moving ahead with ambitious urban food policies.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams recently announced that all 1,700 NYC public schools will serve meatless meals every Monday: more than 1.1 million students will have a vegetarian meal every week.

In Lille, France, the school menu offers two meals weekly without meat or fish a week in the canteens of its public schools. The Lille school district serves about 14,000 meals a day. Since 2014, the city of Lille already implemented one vegetarian menu per week in its canteens.

In Mexico, Veracruz’s “Come Consciente” program launched in April 2018 requires that all schools in the state of Veracruz (the second-largest state in Mexico) serve plant-based meals on Mondays.

In the coming days, hundreds of cities will take part in the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact annual conference in Montpellier, France, and the C40 annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. To create a future that is healthy for both citizens and the planet, we call on mayors today to reduce meat in the meals served in our public canteens and to increase plant-based foods.

As scientists working for the public good, we are ready to provide you with further scientific evidence about these important topics during the forthcoming C40 and the MUFPP meetings and beyond.


Note: Signatories speak on their own behalf, and not on behalf of their affiliated institutions.

(1) Bertoldi, P., Kona, A., Rivas, S. & Dallemand, J. F. 2018. Towards a global comprehensive and transparent framework for cities and local governments enabling an effective contribution to the Paris climate agreement. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 30, 67-74.
IPBES 2019. Summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
(2) Clark, M. & Tilman, D. 2017. Comparative analysis of environmental impacts of agricultural production systems, agricultural input efficiency, and food choice. Environmental Research Letters 12, 064016.
Poore, J. & Nemecek, T. 2018. Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science, 360: 987.
(3) Bajželj B., Richards K.S., Allwood J.M., Smith P., Dennis J.S., Curmi E. & Gilligan C.A. 2014. The importance of food demand management for climate mitigation. Nature Climate Change 4, 924–929.
Tilman, D. & Clark, M. 2014. Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. Nature 515, 518–522.
(4) Pendrill, F., Persson, U.M., Godar, J., Kastner, T., Moran, D., Schmidt, S. & Wood, R. 2019. Agricultural and forestry trade drives large share of tropical deforestation emissions. Global Environmental Change, 56, 1-10.
(5) Smith, P. 2018. Managing the global land resource. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 285: 20172798.
(6) Data from the latest Eat-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health: Willett, W., Rockström, J., Loken, B., Springmann, M., Lang, T., Vermeulen, S., Garnett, T., Tilman, D., DeClerck, F., Wood, A., Jonell, M., Clark, M., Gordon, L. J., Fanzo, J., Hawkes, C., Zurayk, R., Rivera, J. A., De Vries, W., Majele Sibanda, L., Afshin, A., Chaudhary, A., Herrero, M., Agustina, R., Branca, F., Lartey, A., Fan, S., Crona, B., Fox, E., Bignet, V., Troell, M., Lindahl, T., Singh, S., Cornell, S. E., Srinath Reddy, K., Narain, S., Nishtar, S. & Murray, C. J. L. 2019. Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. The Lancet, 393, 447-492.
(7) Smith, P. 2018. Managing the global land resource. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 285: 20172798.


Pete Smith
Professor of Soils & Global Change, University of Aberdeen, UK. FRS, FRSE, FNA, FRSB 

Antonio Agudo 
Researcher, Institut Català d’Oncologia (ICO), Spain

Eduardo Aguilera
Researcher, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Roberta Alessandrini
Researcher, Queen Mary University of London, UK

María Alonso-Ayuso 
Researcher, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Norbert Alzmann 
Researcher, University of Tübingen, Germany

Peter Andersen 
Professor, University of Bergen, Norway

Enrique Arboleda 
Researcher, IGFL – Ecole Normale Supérieure Lyon, France

Ezequiel Arrieta
Researcher, National University of Cordoba, Argentina

Michael Bahn
Professor, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Bojana Bajželj
Researcher, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Andrew Balmford
Professor, University of Cambridge, UK

Sébastien Barot
Research Director, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France

Juan Barriuso 
Professor, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain

Falk Bartels 
Researcher, Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, Germany

Anneke Batenburg 
Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany

Heinz Bauer 
Professor, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Priska Baur
Researcher, Institute of Natural Resource Sciences, Switzerland

David Beaune 
Researcher, University of Burgundy, France

Annette Becker 
Professor, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Vanessa Bednarz 
Researcher, Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Monaco

Laurent Bègue
Professor, University Grenoble Alpes / CNRS, France

Felicitas Beier
Researcher, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany

Elena Bennet
Professor, McGill University, Canada

Leroux Benoît
Researcher, Université de Poitiers – GRESCO, France

Tim Benton
Professor, University of Leeds, UK

Eva Berger 
Researcher, University of Mainz, Germany

Angelique Berhault 
Researcher, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium

Mike Berners-Lee
Professor, Lancaster University, UK

Alberto Bernués
Researcher, Agrifood Research and Technology Centre of Aragon, Spain

Wim Bert 
Professor, Ghent University, Belgium

Gilles Billen
Research Director, CNRS/Sorbonne University, France

Uta Bilow 
Researcher, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

Maria Blanco 
Professor, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Stacy Blondin
Researcher, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA

Lisa Bock 
Researcher, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany

Benjamin Bodirsky
Researcher, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany

Alberte Bondeau
Researcher, CNRS, France

Caroline Braet 
Professor, Ghent University, Belgium

Heiko Brendel
Researcher, University of Passau, Germany

Esther Brendel
Researcher, University of Mainz, Germany

Lutz Breuer 
Professor, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Ben Brüers
Researcher, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Germany

Gilles Brunschwig
Professor, VetAgroSup, France

Sophie Caillon
Researcher, CNRS, France

Colin Campbell
Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell University, USA

Roland Cash
Researcher, Asclépiades, France

Fritz Caspers 
Researcher, CERN, Switzerland

Isabelle Champion
Researcher, INRA, France

Christina Chauvenet
Researcher, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Yves Chilliard
Research Director, INRA, France

Eugen H. Christoph
Researcher, EFSA-European Food Safety Authority, Italy

Kim Cobb
Professor, Georgia Tech, USA

David Combosch 
Professor, University of Guam, USA

Chelsie Counsell 
Researcher, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, USA

Cecilia Cousin 
Researcher, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium

Wolfgang Cramer
Professor, CNRS (IMBE), France

Kevin Dadaczynski
Professor, Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Emilie Dardenne
Researcher, Université Rennes 2, France

Ben De Groeve 
Researcher, Ghent University, Belgium

Corentin Dechaud 
Researcher, ENS de Lyon, France

Nathalie Dehne 
Researcher, Fakultät für Gesundheitswissnschaften Brandenburg, Germany

Miguel Delibes
Professor, Doñana Biological Station CSIC, Spain

Cassandra Derreza-Greeven
Researcher, University Heidelberg, Germany

Marion Desquilbet
Researcher, Toulouse School of Economics and INRA, France

Els Dhiedt
Researcher, Ghent University, Belgium

Xavier Devleeschouwer 
Researcher, Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium

Sophie Devienne
Professor, AgroParisTech, France

Julio Díaz
Researcher, Carlos III Institute of Health, Spain

Mari Cruz Díaz Barradas
Professor, University of Seville, Spain

Rodolfo Dirzo
Professor, Stanford University, USA

Ribanna  Dittrich 
Researcher, University of Edinburgh, UK

Sandra Domizio
Researcher, NHS, UK

Michael Dueren 
Professor, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany

Marc Dufumier
Professor, AgroParisTech, France

Michel Duru
Researcher, INRA, France

Jan P. Ehlers
Professor,  Witten/Herdecke University, Germany

Roland Eichinger
Researcher, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany

Laure Emperaire
Researcher, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France

Gidon Eshel
Professor, Bard College, USA

Frank Fiedler 
Professor, University of Mainz, Germany

Verena Fingerling 
Researcher, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Eve Fouilleux
Research Director, CNRS – University Paris Est, France

Severine Fourdrilis 
Researcher, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium

Jürgen K. Friedel 
Researcher, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria

Franziska Friedrich 
Researcher, Technische Universität München, Germany

Irina Fuchs 
Researcher, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Tara Garnett
Researcher, University of Oxford, UK

Rosa-Belle Gerst 
Researcher, University of Cologne, Germany

Kathrin Göbel
Researcher, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

Nicholas Golledge
Professor, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Mario González Azcárate 
Researcher,  Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario (IMIDRA), Spain

Carlos Alberto Gonzalez Svatetz
Researcher, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Spain

Lise Goudeseune 
Researcher, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium

Wolfgang Goymann
Professor, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany

Rosemary Green
Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Jan Grosse-Oetringhaus 
Researcher, CERN, Switzerland

Jennifer Guse 
Researcher UKE, Germany

Gloria Guzmán Casado 
Professor, University Pablo de Olavide, Spain

Ivan Guzman-Bustamante
Researcher, University of Hohenheim, Germany

Dieter Hagedorn 
Researcher, CERN, Switzerland

Bernhard Harrer
Researcher, Institut für Paradiesgestaltung, Germany

Helen Harwatt
Researcher, Harvard Law School, UK

Matthew Hayek
Professor, New York University, USA

Georg Heiss 
Researcher, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Hans R. Herren
Researcher, Biovision, Switzerland

Vincent Hilomen
Professor, University of the Philippines Los Baños, the Philippines

Ines Hipolito
Researcher, University of Wollongong, Australia

Whitney Hoot 
Researcher, University of Alaska/Government of Guam, USA

Isabella Hrabe de Angelis 
Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany

Elise Huchard
Researcher, CNRS, France

Adriana Humanes 
Researcher, Newcastle University, UK

Roman Hüppi
Researcher, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Hans-Peter Hutter
Professor, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Marie Jamet 
Researcher, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) Heidelberg, Germany

Christian Jessen 
Researcher, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, Germany

Frédéric Joly
Researcher, INRA, France

Hendrikje Jorissen 
Researcher, Centre des Recherches Insulaire et Observatoire de l’Environnement (CRIOBE), France

Peter Kalmus
Researcher, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, USA

Kristine Karstens 
Researcher, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany

Nivi Kessler
Researcher, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Israel

Andrew Knight 
Professor, University of Winchester Centre for Animal Welfare, UK

Gertraud Kozanecki 
Researcher, CEA-Saclay Irfu, France

Jochen Krattenmacher 
Researcher, Biology Centre CAS, Czech Republic

Jens Kroeger 
Researcher, CERN, Switzerland

Meichun Lai 
Researcher, The Ohio State University, USA

Judith Lang 
Researcher, Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA), USA

Frédéric Le Manach
Researcher, Bloom, France

Marcel Lotz 
Researcher, University Observatory Munich, Germany

Hermann Lotze-Campen 
Professor, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany

Jens Lund
Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Jennie Macdiarmid
Professor, University of Aberdeen, UK

Maria Chiara Magri 
Researcher, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Italy

Mansi Maheta
Researcher, Charles University, Institute of Biotechnology, CAS, Czech Republic

Raphaël Manlay
Researcher, AgroParisTech, France

Inger Måren 
Professor, University of Bergen, Norway

Marie-Claude Marsolier-Kergoat
Researcher, CEA/Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, France

Sandrine Mathy
Researcher, CNRS, France

Fernando Mendiola
Professor, Public University of Navarre, Spain

Evelyne Meyer 
Professor, Ghent University, Belgium

Anna Birgitte Milford 
Researcher, NIBIO, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Norway

Silke Möbius 
Researcher, University of Göttingen, Germany

Laura Mosebach 
Researcher, University of Münster, Germany

Gerald Moser 
Researcher, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany

Adrian Müller
Researcher, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, FiBL, Switzerland

Christoph Müller
Researcher, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany

Christoph Musik
Researcher, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, Austria

Elinor Nadir 
Researcher, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Lucie Najak
Researcher, Inserm, France

Karen Neely 
Researcher, Nova Southeastern University, USA

Coralie Neubüser 
Researcher, CERN, Switzerland

Niklas Nolte 
Researcher, CERN, Switzerland

Walter Noske 
Professor, Medical School Brandenburg, Germany

Hazel Oakley 
Researcher, Tropical Research And Conservation Centre, Malaysia

Jan Orbie 
Professor, Ghent University, Belgium

Dalia Ortiz  
Researcher, University of Guam, US Territory

Thomas Otto 
Researcher, CERN, Switzerland

Mercedes Pardo-Buendía
Professor, University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain

Marcello Passaro 
Researcher, Technische Universität München, Germany

Jared Piazza
Researcher, Lancaster University, UK

Vincent Picco 
Researcher, Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Monaco

Joseph Poore
Researcher, University of Oxford, UK

Prajal Pradhan
Researcher, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany

Sidonie Preiss 
Researcher, Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium

Ivanka Puigdueta Bartolomé
Researcher, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Chloé Pupier 
Researcher, Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Monaco

Petra Quillfeldt 
Professor, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Naomi Raab 
Researcher, University College Dublin, Ireland

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter 
Professor, University of Lübeck, Germany

Francesca Riolo 
Researcher, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Italy

William Ripple
Distinguished Professor, Oregon State University, USA

Marta Guadalupe Rivera-Ferre
Researcher, University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia, Spain

Marc Robinson-Rechavi 
Professor, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Susanne Rolinski 
Researcher, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany

Elin Röös
Researcher, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Leon Rosentsvit
Researcher, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel

Benjamin Rottler 
Researcher, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany

Sonia Rowley 
Researcher, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA

Miguel Ángel Royo Bordonada 
Researcher, Spanish National School of Public Health, Spain

José Luis Rubio 
Researcher, CSIC, Universitat de Valencia, Spain

Patricia Ruiz 
Researcher, Brandenburg Medical School, Germany

Antonio Ruiz de Elvira
Professor, University of Alcalá, Spain

Andrea Rumler 
Professor, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany

Christine Rushton 
Researcher, Drury surgery and Manukau district health board, New Zealand

Kristin Saksa 
Researcher, Moss Landing Marine Labs, California State University, USA

María Sánchez-García 
Researcher, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain

Alberto Sanz-Cobena
Researcher, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Michel Sauvain 
Director of Research, IRD, France

Isabel Scheckenbach 
Researcher, University of Regensburg, Germany

Ina Schenk 
Researcher, German Sports University Cologne, Germany

Martin Schliephacke 
Researcher, University of Giessen, Germany

Wolfgang Schmidt
Professor, University of Applied Science Munich, Germany

Lea Schneider 
Professor, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Alexander Schrode 
Researcher, NAHhaft, Sustainability Institute, Germany

Michael Schrödl 
Professor, ZSM and LMU Munich, Germany

Christian Schwanenberger 
Professor, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Germany

Duygu Sevilgen 
Researcher, Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Monaco

Ran Shauli
Researcher, Bar Ilan University, Israel

Alon Shepon
Researcher, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA

Cody Sipe 
Professor, Harding University, USA

Andreas Sönnichsen 
Professor, MedUni Wien, Austria

Peter Birch Sørensen
Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Fabian Sorn 
Researcher, CERN, Switzerland

Kathleen Spring
Researcher, Bioanalytik Münster, Germany

Marco Springmann
Researcher, University of Oxford, UK

Scott Stripling 
Researcher, National Hurricane Center, NOAA, USA

Caterina Sturtzel
Researcher Children’s Cancer Research Institute, Viena, Austria

Simone Susser
Researcher, University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany

David Suzuki
Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia, Canada

Sigal Tepper
Researcher, Tel-Hai Academic College, Israel

Franziska Teubler 
Researcher, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Germany

Saskia Thorbecke 
Researcher, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Phillip Timmer 
Researcher, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Maria Cristina Tirado-von der Pahlen 
Researcher, UCLA, USA

Malte Titze 
Researcher, CERN, Switzerland

Nicolas Treich
Researcher, Toulouse School of Economics and INRA, France

Monika Trimoska 
Researcher, University of Picardie, France

Ravi Tripathi 
Researcher, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité – Paris XIII, France

Jessica Ullrich 
Professor, University of the Arts Münster, Germany

Fernando Valladares
Professor, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain

Sanne Van Den Berge 
Researcher, Ghent University, Belgium

Louise Vandelac 
Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Bob van Oort 
Researcher, CICERO Centre for International Climate Research, Norway

Sandra Vardeh 
Researcher, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Marina Vegué 
Researcher, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain

Isabelle Veissier
Researcher, INRA, France

Federico Velázquez de Castro González
Researcher, President of Spanish Association of Environmental Education, Spain

Jérémy Vendé
Researcher, AgroParisTech, France

Iris Vermeir 
Professor, Ghent University, Belgium

Amélie Vernale  
Researcher, Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Ecologie Marine et Continentale, University of Aix Marseille, France

Sara Vicca
Researcher, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Patrick Vrancken
Researcher, DLR (German Aerospace Center), Germany

David Walter 
Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany

Micha Weil
Researcher, University of Greifswald, Germany

David Weinstein 
Researcher, Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat, Israel

Paul West
Researcher, Global Landscapes Initiative, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, USA

Stephen Whybrow
Researcher, University of Aberdeen, UK

Michael Wiebusch 
Researcher, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, Germany

Marco Wietzoreck 
Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany

Walter Willett
Professor, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA

Mirko Wölfling
Researcher, University of Vienna, Austria

David Woog 
Researcher, CERN, Switzerland

Clara Wriessnegger 
Researcher, Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden

José Luis Yela
Researcher, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Daniel Zink 
Researcher, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Kai Zosseder 
Researcher, Technical University Munich, Germany