Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Cop27 climate summit sparks criticism for serving meat

14/11/2022

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

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The world’s largest climate summit, COP27, returned this year.

And whilst there’s no denying the important work it does to bring countries together to work on battling climate change, the conference has come under fire from vegan activists, due to the menu it served guests.

Despite receiving criticism for the same choice last year, COP27 decided to serve climate activists meat and dairy as part of their meals.

Taking place in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, the yearly UN summit offered guests the likes of a $100 (£84.87) beef medallion, a $50 (£42.44) seafood platter starter or a $40 (£33.95) salmon dish.

But given the indisputable impact of the meat industry on the climate, many vegan activists have criticised the decision to serve meat, fish and dairy, especially the likes of salmon which isn’t from Egypt and so will likely have had to be flown in for the event.

The Vegan Society said in a statement: “It’s really disappointing that such a significant climate change event as COP27 is serving up high environmental impact meat and fish sourced from another continent.”

Meanwhile, activist group Animal Rebellion described the meat-filled menu as a “slap in the face”.

“These so called leaders are swanning off to Egypt and there’s no real action going to be taken, just lots of words,” said one activist in an interview with MailOnline.

cop27 climate summit

World leaders are currently visiting the two-week summit (Credit: Alamy)

“The scientists are coming to the conclusion that we need to be switching from an animal-based diet to a plant based food system. These world leaders need to look like they believe them. This just looks like do what I say and not what I do.

“North Africa has some brilliant plant-based foods, like falafel and couscous, why do they need to ship in Salmon from the Atlantic?”

It comes after the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, urged people to change their meat eating habits last year, when the conference was in Glasgow.

cop27 beef menu vegan

Cop27 is serving beef, salmon and various other animal products (Credit: Alamy)

The Vegan Society concurred: “This is a real missed opportunity for world leaders to connect the issues of diet and climate and lead by example in showcasing a delicious, low impact, plant-based menu to highlight how such changes can make a huge difference to the future of the planet.”

The restaurant package is being served in the VIP Blue Zone of the COP27 summit, where an a la carte menu is served to attendees.

And naturally, when news of its menu surfaced, it wasn’t just activist groups that had something to say about it online.

“COP 27 FOOD MENU – Where they will decide you must eat less meat,” tweeted one person, sharing a snap of the meat filled food on offer. “Here’s the VIP food menu for today. Very erm… meaty with a dash of dairy obvs”.

Whilst another wrote: “The so-called elite class dine on filet mignon while forcing the rest of us to eat insect paste.”

“Isn’t it delightful when a bunch of billionaires and political leaders attend a climate conference by arriving in private jets, get chauffeured around in giant motorcades, eat steak at conference banquets and then tell us plebs to fly less, drive less and eat less meat. #COP27,” wrote another. 

As a fourth chimed in: “Do as I say not do as I do. The green elite represent themselves not individual countries that some of them supposedly represent. Their ideas are for us to suffer and for them to carry on as normal.”

Twisted has reached out to COP27 for comment.

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