Food systems transformation to take centre stage at first Food4Climate Pavilion at annual UN climate summit
The urgent need to transform global food systems will be front and centre at COP27 – this year’s UN climate summit taking place in Egypt next month – thanks to the presence of the Food4Climate Pavilion, one of the first dedicated Pavilions to food-system change.
The Food4Climate Pavilion – supported by ProVeg International, Compassion in World Farming, Food Tank, FOUR PAWS, IPES-Food, A Well-Fed World, and 16 other NGOs, think-tanks and commercial companies (listed below) – plans to highlight the critical yet overlooked need to transform our global food system to tackle climate change. Science shows that climate targets will not be met without urgent food system change including adopting agroecological practices, shifting away from animal-sourced foods, and reducing food loss and waste.
Throughout COP27, delegates from nearly 200 UN member states will be able to attend daily talks and network with NGOs, the commercial industry, academic institutions and researchers at the Food4Climate Pavilion. The Pavilion will be located in the Blue Zone of COP27, taking place this year in Sharm El Sheikh from 6th to 18th November.
“We need urgent action now that creates a just transition away from harmful resource-intensive agriculture and towards fair, healthy, humane and resilient food systems,” said Juliette Tronchon, spokesperson for the coalition behind the Food4Climate Pavilion.
“Through our programme of dedicated events, the Food4Climate Pavilion will significantly advance awareness among UN member states that we cannot tackle the climate emergency without addressing food systems.”
“It will be impossible to limit temperature rise and meet the Paris Agreement goals without addressing the impacts of our food systems. The Pavilion will make that clear to COP27 delegates so that they will feel equipped to return to their countries to formulate policies that encourage plant-rich diets,” Tronchon added.
Food system emissions
The global food system is currently responsible for a third of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) but animal-based foods emit twice as much greenhouse gases as plant-based foods.
A just transition away from resource-intensive food systems towards more resilient, diverse systems will be crucial to reverse the climate crisis and adapt to extreme weather, whilst promoting inclusion and equality, and improving food security and global health.
“Where animal-sourced food is consumed in excess, shifting towards more animal-free diets is one of the most effective measures for mitigation and adaptation strategies,” Tronchon said.
“The Pavilion will highlight the need for these strategies more prominently than previous COPs. As a consequence, I am convinced that the presence of the Pavilion at COP27 will have a lasting, positive effect on tackling the climate crisis through food system change,” Tronchon added.
Rapid transformation needed
Olivier De Schutter, co-chair of Pavilion partner, IPES-Food, said that “without a rapid transformation towards sustainable food systems, it will be impossible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C and prevent mass crop failures.”
“The Food4Climate Pavilion will help put the healthy, diverse and resilient food systems we need on the agenda of COP27,” De Schutter said.
The Pavilion’s programme, revealed today on its new dedicated website, will include the following themed days:
- Interaction of science and policy-making to guide food system change
- Voice of young people on food systems and climate change
- Just transition for farmers and farming communities
- Food innovation and protein diversification
- Adaptation and Agriculture Day: an official day set by the Egyptian Presidency
- Animal agriculture, its’ land use and emissions
- Gender equality and women’s empowerment in food systems
- Forests, indigenous peoples and local communities
- Loss and waste in food systems
- Healthy food for healthy futures: the plate and the planet
- Food security and how food systems can bolster supplies
Pavilion partner Compassion in World Farming said that there was an urgent need to focus on food system change to avert climate disaster.
“Without urgent action by world leaders to fix the global food system we won’t tackle the climate emergency,” Debbie Tripley, Global Director of Campaigns and Policy for Compassion in World Farming, said.
“The Food4Climate Pavilion will focus significant attention on the vital need to transform the way we produce, consume and waste food if we want to avert a climate disaster. We have to phase out industrial animal agriculture, shift to nature and climate-friendly farming systems, and reduce the overconsumption of animal-sourced foods. This is the only way we will provide a global food system that is fair and benefits animals, people and our planet,” Tripley added.
Appeal for more plant-based meals at COP
Separately, the coalition behind the Food4Climate Pavilion joined 160 other organisations this month to call on the Egyptian Presidency of COP27 to provide sustainable, plant-rich food to delegates.
In the letter, the signatories highlighted to the Presidency how Egypt’s traditional cuisine is ideally suited to deliver healthy and sustainable catering at the UN’s biggest climate event.
Notes to Editors
For media inquiries, email Raphael Podselver at [email protected]
About the Food4Climate Pavilion partner organisations
Food4Climate Pavilion will aim to present plant-rich diets as a key mitigation and adaptation solution to the climate crisis at this year’s COP27 conference in Egypt in November.
The Pavilion’s diverse stakeholders highlight the rich plurality of actors and factors shaping our food systems. With a strong focus on Just Transition, the programme will explore multiple perspectives and concrete ways to create inclusive mechanisms for leveraging the potential of plant-rich diets to make our food systems more sustainable and equitable.
Core organisers of the Food4Climate Pavilion: A Well-Fed World, Compassion in World Farming, Food Tank, FOUR PAWS, The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES Food), ProVeg International.
NGO partners are: 50by40, A Well-Fed World, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Center for Earth Ethics, Compassion in World Farming, Jeremy Coller Foundation, FOUR PAWS, Humane Society International, MENA Youth Network, ProVeg International, World Animal Protection, Youth Loves Egypt and YOUNGO.
Think tank partners are: Brighter Green, Food Tank, The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES Food)
Food industry partners are: Enough, Impossible Foods, Oatly, Upfield