ProVeg signs on to support Maryland HB 317 and the DC Green Food Purchasing Act
February 15, 2021
ProVeg US has shown strong support for two bills that would change the way Maryland and Washington, DC purchase food and their environmental impact.
Maryland HB 317 would reduce Maryland’s GHG Emissions from food purchases by 25% by 2030. The legislation, which passed the House early 2020 before the last session was cut short due to COVID-19, would ultimately set up a process for tracking and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions associated with Maryland’s food purchases. ProVeg has also signed on to support the similar DC Green Food Purchasing Amendment Act. This significant legislation, similar to the Maryland bill, would also reduce DC’s GHG emissions from food purchases by 25% by 2030. Both bills expand on the existing framework in each state/district for environmentally preferable purchasing requiring procurement units to track the emissions associated with the food they purchases and reduce those emissions according to a science-based target of 25% by 2030.
ProVeg US Executive Director Michael Webermann submitted the following testimony in support of both pieces of legislation:
“Thank you for generously offering us this platform in support of [The DC Green Food Purchasing Amendment Act / Maryland House Bill 772]. My name is Michael Webermann, I’m the US Executive Director of ProVeg International, a food awareness organization working to increase the amount of proteins obtained from plant sources, for reasons including climate change mitigation, public health, and food justice.
With my background in Environmental Economics & Policy, I have for the last 15 years specialized in breaking complex socio-environmental problems like global climate change into manageable parts, offering practical solutions.
The federal government is acting slowly – at best – to address climate change, which is why [DC/Maryland] is already a leader in implementing regional and local solutions, having set ambitious yet achievable targets for greenhouse gas reduction. However, these targets can not be met without addressing food procurement.
Plant-strong choices use fewer natural resources, generate fewer greenhouse gases, and increase global food security and availability by funneling fewer foods through animals and a substantial calorie-loss. These are global problems, but our solutions must begin at home.
Animal protein is responsible for roughly 80% of the food sector’s greenhouse gas contributions, and the average US citizen eats nearly 3x as much meat as the global average. A 25% reduction in these purchases would be meaningful but realistic. Our local government has the chance to meet its climate targets while increasing access to a diverse array of proteins, simply by increasing the share of plant-based purchases.”
Michael Webermann, US Executive Director, ProVeg International
The Harvard-based Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) is featuring two ProVeg projects, focused on climate-friendly food choices in the school system, in its latest Planetary Health Case Studies anthology.