GLASGOW is one of the most vegan friendly cities in the UK. As people make their New Year resolutions, it is anticipated that Veganuary will be more popular than ever.

In response to the climate crisis, we know that moving to a plant-based diet is a solution that can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

People are going into the New Year with positivity and taking action to protect our planet, its wild places, and the health and wellbeing of all its inhabitants.

Environmentally friendly diets including vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and fruits can also contribute to saving water and forests.

Some research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer.

Veganuary is growing into an international campaign with people joining together from the UK, US, Germany, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and India.

There is a supportive community full of people making the transition to a plant-based diet, or who have already done Veganuary in previous years.

A call was made for a global strategy for a plant-based transition at the gathering of global leaders at COP26 in Glasgow.

The Plant Based Treaty is aiming to put food systems at the heart of combating the climate crisis by encouraging a shift to healthier and sustainable plant-based diets, while simultaneously working to reverse the damage to ecosystems and biodiversity.

It asks for world leaders to recognise the negative impact of industrial animal agriculture on climate change and commit to developing a global strategy to transition towards more sustainable plant-based food systems.

Following on from COP26, there is increased pressure to develop government initiatives to drive down meat and dairy consumption.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment makes clear that we are facing a methane emergency.

A third of emissions worldwide come from the food sector and a third of methane emissions come from animal agriculture.

A vegan diet has been highlighted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as having the highest greenhouse gas mitigation potential.

Animal products, both meat and dairy, in general require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives.

The UK Committee on Climate Change has also stated that the public sector should take a strong lead by providing plant-based options in schools and hospitals to encourage nutrition and sustainable diets.

Local government can encourage people to adopt an increasingly plant-based diet. It is possible to develop and implement policies for public sector institutions such as schools, hospitals and care homes to offer vegan meals as standard on menus every day.

Green councillors have supported the roll-out of Meat Free Mondays across council services. We have seen this initiative flourish.

At least one plant-based day a week is a fun and easy way to do something good for the planet.

This year, there is an appetite for plant-based meal options to expand across council services and beyond.

We need to tackle climate change and its impacts, and this involves a transition towards a more plant-based food system.