COP28: What is it – and why is ProVeg there?
COP28, UNFCCC, IPCC… if you’re interested in what the world is doing to fight climate change, you’ve likely seen these acronyms. But what do they mean, and how important are they? ProVeg International is here to answer these pressing questions and many more.
Climate change and global cooperation
Climate change is one of the most urgent issues threatening our planet today, with the effects ranging from extreme climate events such as floods and droughts to negative impacts on animals, humans, and our environment. It is a complex problem with a multitude of causes, including everything from the excessive burning of fossil fuels to the emissions and deforestation caused by the animal agriculture sector.
Because climate change affects everyone, it’s important to have an international platform in which nations can come together to fight the climate crisis.
What is COP and why is it important?
COP, or the Conference of the Parties, is a series of international conferences organised under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in which national delegations gather every year to conduct climate discussions. Countries decide on common goals and commitments and negotiate which concrete measures their governments should implement in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
COP through the years
While the outcomes sometimes fall short of public expectations, over the years these gatherings have facilitated the negotiation and adoption of key climate agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol (COP 3, 1997) and the Paris Agreement (COP21, 2015), both of which have been pivotal in the global effort to combat climate change.
COP27, which was held in Sharm El-Sheyk, Egypt, last year, was the first conference in which food-systems change was on the agenda, with several pavilions focusing on the matter. It also marked the first time that the summit’s official programme dedicated an entire day to discussions about agriculture.
The Food4Climate Pavilion
One of the key platforms for discussing food-systems change at COP is the Food4Climate Pavilion, an event space at the official COP venue that hosts presentations, panel discussions, and networking events. Together with more than a dozen partners – from plant-based food manufacturers to youth climate advocates – ProVeg organised last year’s pavilion and will return to COP this month, emphasising the importance of a multifaceted approach to dealing with climate change.
ProVeg at the COPs
As an NGO with permanent-observer status from the UNFCCC, ProVeg participates in COP by focusing on the global shift to more plant-based diets and the widespread adoption of alternative proteins as key strategies for reducing emissions and making our food systems more sustainable. This means that ProVeg representatives take part in public discussions on food systems and plant-rich diets, engage in networking events with key stakeholders, and talk to journalists and media outlets.
What about COP28?
COP28 is set to be a game-changer. For the first time in the conference’s history, two-thirds of the meals served at COP will be fully plant-based, and the COP28 Presidency has committed to providing emissions labelling on food.
ProVeg has been attending COP for several years and will once again send a delegation to this year’s conference, which kicks off in Dubai on 30 November. Together with more than 15 partners, we are hosting the Food4Climate Pavilion, which will be home to a series of panel discussions and networking events on food-systems change and alternative proteins. This year, the Pavilion will underline the need for transforming our global food system, which is responsible for around a third of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
By bringing together food industry experts, NGOs, and youth activists (through the ProVeg Youth Board), we aim to enrich the discussions with an evidence-based approach to policy-making, and help to ensure a positive outcome for the conference.