Advocates of meat reduction – Pope Francis and King Charles III – will be at COP28
3 November 2023
Both the Pope and King Charles will attend this year’s UN climate summit in Dubai
Pope Francis and King Charles III – both advocates of meat reduction on environmental grounds – will be attending this year’s highly anticipated UN climate summit, COP28, in Dubai in December.
Food awareness organisation, ProVeg International, will also be at the summit, highlighting the urgent need for countries to promote a shift to more plant-based diets to curb climate change. ProVeg will be holding presentations and dialogues with its partners at the Food4Climate Pavilion in the Blue Zone of the summit, which takes place from 30 November to 12 December.
The COP28 catering team has already revealed that food served at the event will be two thirds plant-based, in a decision that came about following collaboration work with food groups, supported by ProVeg.
“It is encouraging to know that both the Pope and the King recognise the importance of reducing meat in order to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, along with other damage caused by industrialised animal farming, such as the pollution of waterways, deforestation and biodiversity loss,” Raphaël Podselver, Director of UN Affairs at ProVeg International, said.
“We hope that these two global influencers will draw attention to our need to shift towards healthy, plant-rich diets – particularly in wealthy nations – to release the huge pressures placed on the planet by the global meat and dairy industry,” he added.
The global food system is responsible for one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, whilst animal agriculture is responsible for one fifth of total emissions1.
Shifting to a plant-based diet is one of the most effective actions an individual can take to tackle climate change.
In King Charles III’s case, he told the BBC in a 2021 interview that he leaves out meat and fish two days a week and dairy one day a week as a way of lessening the damage caused by industrialised meat and dairy production.
The Pope made his views known on the matter last year when he addressed young people at a three day EU Youth Conference in Prague in the Czech Republic. He encouraged participants by stating, “In certain areas of the world, it would be appropriate to consume less meat; this too can help save the environment.”
Governments also need to take action to accelerate food system change. In October of this year, both Denmark and South Korea made history by becoming the first countries in the world to produce action plans aimed at promoting plant-based foods.
Notes to Editors
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About ProVeg International
ProVeg International is a food awareness organisation 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.