Azerbaijan urged to ensure catering at UN climate summit is climate-friendly

NGOs call on COP29 hosts to follow Dubai’s lead, serve mainly plant-based food

Baku, Azerbaijan. Picture credit: Lloyd Alozie

The Presidency of this year’s UN climate summit, COP29, is being called upon to ensure that mostly climate-friendly, plant-based food is served to delegates at the event.

The request, sent as a letter by 250 organizations, seeks to build on the progress made at last year’s event – COP28 in Dubai – when two-thirds of the menu was vegan and vegetarian. The so-called “1.5 alignment menu” at Dubai took into account the Paris agreement goal to keep global temperatures from exceeding pre-industrial levels by 1.5C to avoid climate chaos. 1, 2

“The historic achievement at COP28 in Dubai must not go to waste in Azerbaijan,” Lana Weidgenant, Senior UN Policy Manager at food awareness organization, ProVeg International said. 

“We are appealing to the organizers of the summit in Baku to match, or exceed, the climate-friendly catering at Dubai and thereby send out a strong message to the world that what we eat every day is critical to mitigating climate change,” Weidgenant added.

Globally, the food system accounts for around one-third of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, enough to place the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals in jeopardy even if fossil fuels were phased out immediately.

Most of these emissions and other environmental impacts from food and agriculture result from producing animal products. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate experts stress that shifts to more plant-based diets are essential for climate change mitigation and adaptation.3

Addressing overconsumption of animal products is also necessary for reducing the incidence of communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as reducing pressures on resources.

As a result, climate-friendly COP catering is important for improving the climate footprint of the conference as well as highlighting the importance of food systems. Even the Paris Olympics – a sport-focused rather than climate-focused event – is shifting to mainly vegan and vegetarian food to reduce the event’s climate emissions. 

ENDS

Footnotes:

  1. COP28 UAE, COP28 to Offer 1.5°C-Aligned Menus Across More Than 90 Culinary Outlets, https://www.cop28.com/en/news/2023/11/COP28-to-offer-15C-aligned-menus-across-more-than-90-culinary-outlets.
  2. COP28 UAE, Food and Beverage, https://www.cop28.com/en/food-and-beverage.
  3.  IPCC, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_FullReport.pdf.

Notes to Editors

For media inquiries, email Peter Rixon at [email protected]

About ProVeg International

ProVeg International is a food awareness organization with the mission to replace 50% of animal products globally with plant-based and cultivated foods by 2040. Our vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet. 

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