A weeklong “plant-based challenge” this month will urge Ann Arborites to shrink their greenhouse gas footprint by eating less meat. Animal agriculture is usually ignored in climate change policies and actions, which focus on carbon dioxide—the main greenhouse-gas emissions of meat production are methane and nitrogen oxide. But according to a United Nations report, it contributes more to global warming than all forms of transportation.

The nonprofit advocacy group VegMichigan is partnering with the city on the event. Its leader, Tom Progar, says Ann Arbor is the first city in Michigan—and one of the first in the country—to address animal agriculture’s climate impact.

The impetus came from Huron Valley Humane Society executive director Tanya Hilgendorf. After participating in a VegMichigan thirty-day diet transition program, she contacted Missy Stults, head of the city’s office of sustainability and innovation, to discuss ways to make people more aware of the issue.

Stults signed on, and OSI worked with VegMichigan and a group of A2NetZero “ambassadors”—residents who’ve volunteered to advance the climate plan—to develop a week of activities September 11–17. The Sept. 11 kickoff, from 10 a.m. to noon at Cobblestone Farm, includes speakers, vegan brunch items from local restaurants, games and activities, and music.

While Ann Arbor is the first community in the state to address meat’s role in global warming, Progar expects it won’t be the last. Belleville city officials have already contacted him about doing something similar there in October.