Food experts this week called for an increase in climate-friendly diets that can support the targets enshrined in the Paris Agreement.
Meeting on Tuesday at the UN Climate Conference in Bonn – on the occasion of UN Sustainable Gastronomy Day – a panel discussion titled: ‘Making food compatible with the Paris Agreement’ brought together a fantastic lineup of speakers, including Senior Sustainability Manager at Impossible Foods, Rebekah Moses; Yaw Sasu-Boakye, Climate Lead: Food & Agriculture at Ikea Foods; Dr Brent Loken, the Eat Foundation‘s Director of Science Translation; and Marc Buckley, Global Food Reformist, Member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network, UN Global Goals advocate, and Editor-at-Large with Innovators Magazine and OnePoint5Media – to name a few of his titles – who moderated the session.
Accelerating efforts to establish food systems which use science-based evidence was the key takeaway. As Prof. Walter Willett, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, wrote in the summary to the seminal EAT-Lancet Commission Report: “A diet rich in plant-based foods and with fewer animal source foods confers both improved health and environmental benefits.” Released in January, the EAT-Lancet report, compiled by 37 leading scientists, is the first time a comprehensive attempt has been made to establish the science around what constitutes a sustainable diet. A substantial shift to plant-based foods, innovative solutions to tackling the one-third of food that is wasted annually, and a transformation in how it is produced, are the key steps set out in the paper.
Food experts at the @UN#ClimateChange Conference #SB50Bonn have called for more climate-friendly, healthy & sustainable diets in line with the goals of the #ParisAgreement and the #SDGs – the UNFCCC tweeted from the event.
IKEA, represented on the panel by Yaw Sasu-Boakye, is one of hundreds of companies signed up to adopting science-based climate actions. The Swedish giant has committed to increasing the amount of plant-based on its shelves to 20% by 2022, up from 14% today. These steps, along with innovative and tasty plant-based products, from the likes of Impossible Foods, are the changes in need of mainstreaming. And as researchers from Oxford University said, going vegan is the biggest action individuals can take to minimise their impact on the planet, so we are all part of the solution; as the more we demand food that is within planetary boundaries, the better chance there is that a planet strong enough to feed us – and itself – for generations to come will become a reality.