New York City plans to reduce the amount of red meat served in municipally-run facilities by half to combat climate change as part of the city’s recently-approved “Green New Deal.”
The city’s $14 billion “Green New Deal” includes plans to cut purchases of red meat by 50 percent and phase out purchases of processed meats in its city-run schools, hospitals, schools, and correctional facilities by 2040. The city would be first in the world to adopt a policy of this kind. The announcement comes after New York schools adopted Meatless Monday in an effort to encourage students to abstain from consuming meat one day a week to improve their health and the environment.
Chloe Waterman, who serves as Program Manager for the Climate-Friendly Food Program at Friends of the Earth, said of De Blasio’s proposal in a statement: “New York City is strengthening its climate leadership by acknowledging the importance of slashing consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions associated with factory farmed meat. Eliminating processed meat and cutting red meat purchases will pay dividends for the health of future generations and the planet.”
“We applaud Mayor de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and all of the advocates who made today’s announcement possible. We hope other cities will soon follow suit,” Waterman concluded.
In announcing his Green New Deal on Monday, De Blasio said he also plans to introduce a bill banning new construction of glass skyscrapers as part of his efforts to reduce citywide greenhouse emissions by 30%.
The Democrat mayor, who is considering running for president in 2020, said all-glass facade skyscrapers are “incredibly inefficient” because so much energy escapes through the glass. The bill would require existing glass buildings to be retrofitted to meet new stricter carbon-emissions guidelines.
“If a company wants to build a big skyscraper they can use a lot of glass if they do all the other things needed to reduce the emissions,” de Blasio told reporters. “But putting up monuments to themselves that harmed our earth and threatened our future that will no longer be allowed in New York City.”
The mayor’s Green New Deal effort also includes plans to power all of the city’s operations with clean electricity sources like Canadian hydropower, mandatory organics recycling, congestion pricing, and the phasing-out of city purchases of single-use plastic food ware and processed meat.
City lawmakers passed the Climate Mobilization Act — referred to as New York’s own “Green New Deal” — in a 45-2 vote last Thursday.
The AP contributed to this report.