COP27: Traditional Egyptian plant-rich food can make UN summit climate-friendly
12 September 2022
Egypt’s traditional cuisine is ideally suited to deliver healthy and sustainable catering at the UN’s biggest climate event
Over 160 NGOs, led by global food awareness groups, 50by40 and Proveg International, are encouraging Egypt to provide sustainable, plant-rich food to delegates attending the UN climate summit – COP27 – hosted in Sharm El Sheikh in November.
In a joint letter to the Egyptian COP27 steering group, 50by40 and Proveg International are urging Egypt to show global leadership by providing the delegates from the nearly 200 participating countries with nutritious plant-based meals throughout the ten-day event.
“Egypt will be setting a fantastic example for future COP events by serving more plant-based meals to delegates. With the country’s culinary heritage, Egypt also has the advantage in that its diet has always been anchored in legumes, vegetables and grains, out of which come delicious and nutritious meals,” Raphael Podselver, Head of UN Advocacy at ProVeg International, said.
The global food system currently accounts for about one third1 2 of global greenhouse gas emissions, but plant-based foods have about half3 the carbon footprint of animal-based food, making them the most sustainable and appropriate choice for a climate summit.
COP27 will already be marking a food milestone for these UN summits because, for the first time ever, the summit will play hosts to pavilions focused on food system change, including the Food4Climate Pavilion where both ProVeg International and 50by40 will be promoting the benefits of plant-rich diets, along with a host of other NGOs.
“In a time of climate crisis and growing hunger, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, it is a moral imperative to serve food that has the least climate footprint and allows for global equitable food distribution,” Lasse Bruun, CEO of 50by40, said.
“The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights the link between overconsumption of meat in the Global North and nutrition deficiency in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The highest consuming countries, G20 nations in particular, must take responsibility and help Egypt make the right food choices for COP27,” Bruun added.
COP27 will be taking place at Sharm El Sheikh from 6th – 18th November. Working out of the Food4Climate Pavilion, both 50by40 and ProVeg International will aim to highlight how current industrial food systems are major drivers of environmental degradation and climate change and that plant-rich diets are an important part of the solution to the challenges we face.
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50by40 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organisation with UNEP and UNFCCC observer status. Along with its 70-plus coalition partners across 45 countries, 50by40 is dedicated to a 50% reduction in the worldwide production and consumption of animal products by 2040. Key to the transition is an equitable distribution of food through production systems that are environmentally sustainable, regenerative and humane and achieved via a Just Transition.
50by40 convenes and leads global cross-sector stakeholder groups like international decision-making institutions, farmer groups, financial institutions and industry to catalyse and augment efforts through awareness raising, advocacy, movement building and campaigning.
50by40 recognises the value of building blocks, design thinking and fostering consensus. Through our long-term collaborations and collective impact strategies, 50by40 is at the forefront of fortifying a dynamic global food movement.
About ProVeg International
ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by facilitating the shift towards more plant-based diets.
ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.
ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA and ECOSOC, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.
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, IPES Food, ProVeg International.
The partners in the Pavilion are: 50by40, A Well-Fed World, Brighter Green, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Center for Earth Ethics, Compassion in World Farming, Jeremy Coller Foundation, Enough, Food Tank, FOUR PAWS, Humane Society International, Impossible, IPES Food, Mena Youth Network, Oatly, ProVeg International, Upfield, World Animal Protection, Youth Loves Egypt and YOUNGO.
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.
IPCC, H (2019): Climate Change and Land. An IPCC Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. Summary for Policymakers.