Bonn appétit! ProVeg welcomes marked increase in plant-based food at UN climate conference

Food at Bonn Climate Change Conference has shifted to more climate-friendly dishes

Food awareness organization, ProVeg International, has this week welcomed action taken by organizers of a major UN climate conference to serve more climate-friendly food to delegates.

ProVeg staff attending the ten-day Bonn Climate Change Conference (3 -13 June), which started this week, estimate that about 50% of the catering at the event is now vegan and vegetarian food.

The increase in options at the annual Bonn gathering, which prepares negotiators for the UN COP climate summits, represents a major step forward for climate-friendly catering of major events. It also continues the progress started last year at COP28 in Dubai where two-thirds of the catering was plant-based. The next COP summit, COP29, will be in Azerbaijan at the end of the year.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see a range of tasty, nutritious plant-based food options served up at Bonn on the first day of the conference,” Lana Weidgenant, Senior UN Policy Manager at ProVeg, said.

“This is a very encouraging trend and shows that the message is really getting across that plant-based diets are the most sustainable diets and that catering at climate conferences need to reflect this,” Weidgenant added.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) already recommends a shift to more plant-based diets to make the food system more sustainable. The University of Bonn even put a figure on this, saying that wealthy countries would need to reduce their meat consumption by at least 75% to prevent ecosystem collapse.

As animal-based food emits twice as much greenhouse gas as plant-based foods, shifting to more plant-based diets serves as an effective way to accelerate the decarbonisation of societies. 

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions (1) and 32% of methane emissions (2) and is a leading cause of deforestation (3), with around 70% of deforestation in the Amazon due to cattle farming alone.

ENDS

Footnotes

  1. Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods | Nature Food
  2. Cutting livestock methane emissions for stronger climate action (fao.org)
  3. Sustainability | Free Full-Text | Reducing Amazon Deforestation through Agricultural Intensification in the Cerrado for Advancing Food Security and Mitigating Climate Change (mdpi.com)

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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