With a shared belief that city governments can play a large role in helping mitigate climate change, about 3,000 local and regional leaders gathered in Mexico City, Mexico to pledge support for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference while making their own cities more sustainable. The need to shift urban consumption habits was highlighted, which included agricultural products.
Bertrand Delanoe – Mayor of Paris, France: We want green growth. We want organic farming to replace this destructive agriculture.
Antonio Villaraigosa – Mayor of Los Angeles, California, USA: Cities need to lead the way.
Joey Salceda – Governor of Albay, The Philippines: Cities have more flexibility in getting something done now.
Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa: Every individual must make a contribution. In this regard, let’s do all we can.
VOICE: The hosting Mexico City government catered an organic vegetarian lunch for all attendees.
Martha Delgado – Secretary of the Environment for Mexico City: We offered a vegetarian and organic menu for mayors, and we also took that opportunity to sensitize their consciousness about the meat, the generation of methane, also the land that we are losing because of growing animals.
Patrick Hays – President of ICELI USA, Former Mayor of North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA: I had to be excited about the lunch being vegetarian. There’s got to be a start somewhere, and we’ve begun.
Ake Pettersson Frykberg – Vice Mayor, Karlstad, Sweden: It’s much better to eat vegetarian food than to eat meat.
VOICE: Many of the officials present were highly aware of the impacts of meat consumption on global warming and expressed support for city-level changes.
Patrick Hays – President of ICELI USA, Former Mayor of North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA: The lifecycle cost that imposes on our society, and how that seems to be increasing in numbers in terms of eating meat...
The implications are leading us to a recognition that it’s unsustainable; we can’t keep living with the diets that we’ve had.
Dr. Alejandro Chanona – Mexican delegate: We are so focused on carbon dioxide. However, methane, which is one of the key greenhouse gas effects, it’s produced because of the way we produce food.
Not only in terms of crops but also in the way we round cattle. If we don’t modify the patterns, we will continue polluting and also emitting such an amount of gases that it is a …how to put it in English, it is a mirage to believe that the only problem is industrial capacity or even cars or the way we consume oil and gases. So, this is a very important point, and let’s debate it also in the COP16.
Victor Lichtinger – Former Mexican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources: I believe that the issue of dietary change is fundamental, and it has to be dealt with, since, for example, meat generates and produces and has as a result the use of so much energy. And if we change our diet, certainly, especially in the developed world, where the impact of the lifestyle is so bad on the environment, it will be very very important.
Supreme Master TV: What if we had a vegan day in the week in Cancún?
Jaime Hernández – Mayor of Cancún, Mexico: What if, instead of having just one day, we have it the whole week? We are having already in Cancún many more vegetarian places. We are supporting this so that within the care of the environment, there should be care for the main element, which is the human being.
VOICE: Our salute, global city leaders for your commitment to protecting the lives and health of fellow citizens through greater awareness about the food we consume.
May communities throughout the world adopt sustainable ways of living, the most essential of which is the organic vegan diet.
Dr. Alejandro Chanona: Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!
Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently encouraged world governments toward the immediate actions that would save the planet in time, as in an October 2009 speech addressing magistrates and judges in Mexico.