Dr Gunhild A. Stordalen, founder of the international nonprofit, EAT Forum, which works to transform global food systems, is truly one of the original trailblazers when it comes to highlighting the connections between food, health and climate.
Asked at COP27 if we can have #ACopHalfFull mindset when looking towards the future, Dr Stordalen said that despite some negative trends, she believes that people power will ultimately win through and prove unstoppable in bringing about transformative change.
“If you look at the graph that is showing the number of COP events beside the parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere, you would say: why are you even leaving a big carbon footprint to come here because it is just going one way,” she said.
“But it is not what happens inside the negotiating rooms that is the most important thing, it is the power of people. In Glasgow, we saw thousands and thousands of young people marching in the streets, in and outside of the negotiating rooms.”
That same level of public activism isn’t happening on the ground in Sharm-el-Sheikh but Dr Stordalen sees real hope in the new faces attending this COP.
“This is the first time I have seen a massive showing from the nutrition community, people that have never cared about climate,” she said. “That’s because this is becoming the global issue: climate and nature, period, there is no human health without planetary health.”
This across the board increase in engagement is the reason the Norwegian scientist feels the three-word campaign slogan immortalised by Barack Obama can once again become a rallying call, and this time for the entire world.
“If we keep believing that ‘Yes We Can’ – it is possible, and get more and more actors to push for change, governments will follow,” she added.
For more messages and opinions like this from COP27, follow me and Paula Maultasch, the creative executive producer of the Inside Ideas podcast, and the hashtag #ACopHalfFull on twitter, as we continue to bring you reasons to believe a better future is on the way – and make sure to share your own thoughts on why you think the same.