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NYC will track carbon footprint of residents’ food purchases

Mayor Eric Adams admitted New Yorkers were probably not “ready for this conversation”

New York City will track the carbon footprint of residents’ food consumption as part of a sweeping initiative to decrease the city’s carbon emissions from food by a third this year, Mayor Eric Adams revealed on Monday at an event for the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice. 

About a fifth of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions come from household food consumption, Adams told reporters, blaming much of that total on meat and dairy. Household food consumption is supposedly the third largest contributor to city emissions totals, trailing only buildings and transportation. 

The Mayor’s Office of Food Policy has ordered city agencies to reduce their food consumption by 33% by 2030, and Adams has asked private corporations to cut their own emissions by 25% by 2030, insisting New Yorkers’ wasteful eating habits cannot continue without imperiling the planet.

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“It is easy to talk about emissions that are coming from vehicles and how it impacts our carbon footprint,” he said. “But now we have to talk about beef.” City officials urged New Yorkers to put down the burgers and pick up vegetables and beans.  

“A plant-based diet is better for your physical and mental health, I’m living proof of that, but…thanks to this new inventory, we’re finding out it is better for the planet,” Adams quipped. While the mayor has long professed to be a vegan, even publishing a cookbook touting his supposedly plant-based diet, he admitted last year that he enjoyed the occasional fish after a restaurant whistleblower came forward.  

The household consumption carbon footprint tracker will be viewable on the same website as the city’s breakdown of its annual greenhouse gas totals, which also includes data on producing consumer goods and using professional services.  

Last year, Adams signed New York onto the C40 Good Food Cities program, a global pledge to reduce food waste and incentivize healthier eating habits. The program aims to enforce compliance with UN climate goals by ‘nudging’ populations toward more nutritious meals, mandating a “planetary health diet” for all residents.  

Adams admitted that monitoring what’s on the end of New York’s forks was not going to be easy, telling the outlet Gothamist, “I don’t know if people are really ready for this conversation.” When his predecessor Michael Bloomberg tried to legally enforce healthy eating in 2012 with a heavy-handed ban on super-size sugary drinks, the state Supreme Court struck it down as arbitrary and capricious. Bloomberg, however, now runs the C40 program’s board of directors.

April 20, 2023 at 12:28AM
RT

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