COP28 will be “first Food COP” as UN bites into climate change

 

Plant-based catering, food policy announcements and a Food4Climate Pavilion will highlight the need for global diet shift at COP28

 

COP28, the UN’s annual environment summit, will this year place sharp focus on the need to transform the global food system to avert climate disaster.

Taking place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 30 November to 12 December, the event will include, for the first time, a dedicated Food Day, and witness the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) outline, also for the first time, its much-anticipated roadmap to keeping the world within the internationally agreed 1.5 degrees temperature limit. 

Unlike other COPs, the COP28 Presidency has also committed to predominantly plant-based catering along with emissions labeling on food. 

On top of this, a coalition of NGOs will once again be setting up a Food4Climate Pavilion, marking the second time that COP has hosted the Pavilion, which is the only dedicated Pavilion to both alternative proteins and food system change. 

“This is the first time we are having real discussions on food and agriculture at a COP summit,” Raphael Podselver, Director of UN Affairs at ProVeg International, said. “As a consequence, we expect real decisions to be taken so that we can unlock the potential of healthy, plant-rich diets and protein diversification, reducing emissions from food systems and improving food security .”

Food systems account for up to one third of total greenhouse gas emissions((Crippa, M., E. Solazzo, D. Guizzardi, et al. (2021): Food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Nature Food 2(3), 198–209. doi:10.1038/s43016-021-00225-9))((Xu, X., P. Sharma, S. Shu, et al. (2021): Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods. Nature Food 2(9), 724–732. doi:10.1038/s43016-021-00358-x))((Babiker, M., G. Berndes, K. Blok et al. (2022): Cross-sectoral perspectives. In IPCC, 2022: Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [P.R. Shukla, J. Skea, R. Slade, A. Al Khourdajie, R. van Diemen, D. McCollum, M. Pathak, S. Some, P. Vyas, R. Fradera, M. Belkacemi, A.  Hasija, G.  Lisboa, S.  Luz, J.  Malley, (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA.)), with animal-based foods responsible for twice the emissions((Xu, X., P. Sharma, S. Shu, et al. (2021): Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods. Nature Food 2(9), 724–732. doi:10.1038/s43016-021-00358-x)) of plant-based foods. Animal agriculture is also responsible for 32% of all human-caused emissions of methane((Methane emissions are driving climate change. Here’s how to reduce them. (unep.org))), which is a powerful greenhouse gas. 

Food4Climate Pavilion

The Food4Climate Pavilion will include a host of partners including World Animal Protection, Upfield, Food Tank, The Jeremy Coller Foundation, Humane Society International, Mercy for Animals, FOUR PAWS, Compassion in World Farming, A Well-Fed World, Impossible Foods, The Changing Markets Foundation, Plant Based Foods Institute, The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, YPARD, IAAS, YOUNGO Food & Agriculture, and ProVeg International.

Pavilion partners will highlight, through presentations and discussions, the importance of prioritizing the production of alternative protein over animal protein, along with tackling the overconsumption of meat in the Global North.

Host country is supportive of plant-based diets

Host country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is showing itself to be supportive of food system change, having officially welcomed the opening of the first plant-based meat factory earlier this year in COP’s host city, Dubai. 

“Food has broken through to the top of the agenda because countries have listened to the climate experts and understood the science – in particular from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – and are determined to act on it.” Podselver said

The  IPCC has already made clear, in the summary of its latest report, that a transition to more plant-rich diets along with the promotion of cultivated foods are essential to meet internationally agreed climate targets under the Paris agreement. 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

For media inquiries, email Juliette Tronchon or Peter Rixon at [email protected]

 

About ProVeg International

Our vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet. 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.

 

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