On the steps of city hall today, Councilmember Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer introduced Resolution 2049 (PDF) that seeks to tackle climate change through localized food production. The resolution is the first of its kind in the U.S. to link climate change with food choices and production systems (a third of greenhouse emissions, GHGs, are due to agriculture and associated land use changes; fully 18% of GHGs come from the livestock sector alone), and is an important step in increasing access to fresh, healthy and local food for all New Yorkers. Brighter Green and other members of the NYC Foodprint Alliance gathered to celebrate the announcement.
“If there’s any issue that should be on the front pages, it’s this issue,” says de Blasio, who regards the resolution as addressing head on the negative impacts that New York’s food decisions have on its people and environment. The resolution promotes a “cool foods” system that advocates local and organic plant-based foods to reduce GHG emissions and diet-related diseases such as heart disease and obesity. It seeks to increase availability of healthy food in all communities, particularly in low-income communities and city-run institutions. “If we can have a fast food restaurant on every corner, then we can certainly have a garden,” de Blasio insists.
The NYC Foodprint Alliance has found allies in de Blasio and Stringer, who see the resolution as an important step in strengthening the city’s urban agricultural infrastructure. “The food revolution starts with the Foodprint Resolution,” says Stringer. “If the biggest baddest city can develop its urban agriculture, making use of its rooftops and skies, then it can be done anywhere.”
Brighter Green has been involved since the early stages of the resolution’s development–and welcomes its introduction. Stay tuned for details of how to assure its passage in the City Council this summer.