Recent studies suggest global food production is responsible for one-third of all planet-heating emissions, with the use of animals for meat accounting for twice the pollution of producing plant-based foods.
Haarlem, which lies to the west of Amsterdam and has a population of about 160,000, will enact the prohibition from 2024 after meat was added to a list of products deemed to contribute to the climate crisis. The ban also covers holiday flights, fossil fuels and cars that run on fossil fuels.
Adverts will not be allowed on Haarlem’s buses, shelters and screens in public spaces, prompting complaints from the meat sector that the municipality is “going too far in telling people what’s best for them”.
Forests that absorb carbon dioxide are felled for the grazing of animals while fertilisers used for growing their feed are rich in nitrogen, which can contribute to air and water pollution, climate change and ozone depletion. Livestock also produces large quantities of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.