Haarlem, which is a city just outside Amsterdam in the Netherlands, has become the first city in the world to prohibit advertisements for most meat products due to its impact on climate change, officials confirmed on Wednesday.
Greenpeace said research they conducted showed that in order to meet the EU target of net zero emissions by 2050, the consumption of meat must be reduced to 24kg per person per year, compared to the current average of of 82kg, or 75.8kg in the Netherlands, who are the largest meat exporter in the EU.
As reported by The Guardian, advertisements will no longer be allowed on Haarlem’s buses, shelters and screens in public spaces, which has prompted the meat sector to push back and say that the municipality is “going too far in telling people what’s best for them.”
Sander van den Raadt, who is the leader of the Trots Haarlem group, said: “It is remarkable that the municipality of Haarlem is holding a large poster campaign that you can be yourself in Haarlem and love whoever you want, but if you like meat instead of soft grass, ‘the patronizing brigade’ will come and tell you that you are completely wrong.”
Others, including those who were involved in drafting the bill, have said that the measure is welcome.
Ziggy Klazes, who is a councilor from the GroenLinks party, and was heavily involved in drafting the motion banning all advertisements of meat, said she had not known the city would be the world’s first to put this type of policy in place when she initially proposed it.
Klazes told the Haarlem105 radio channel: “We are not about what people are baking and roasting in their own kitchen; if people wanted to continue eating meat, fine … We can’t tell people there’s a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of the cause.”
“Of course, there are a lot of people who find the decision outrageous and patronizing, but there are also a lot of people who think it’s fine,” she added. “It is a signal – if it is picked up nationally, that would only be very nice. There are many groups of GroenLinks who think it is a good idea and want to try it.”
Some 95 percent of Dutch people eat meat, including 20 percent every day, according to the Dutch central statistics office.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
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