The 28th annual United Nations climate summit (COP28) has set a historic precedent by placing food at the center stage of the climate conversation, underscoring the remarkable impact of youth-led initiatives and inspiring a bright future for the plant-based marketplace. The initiative, being referred to as the “1.5-degree Celsius-aligned menu,” aligns with the ambitious climate goals of the Paris Agreement, emphasizing the inextricable link between climate action and our food choices.
This innovative shift towards prioritizing plant-based cuisine was ignited by the unwavering passion and determination of youth organizations. The voices of YOUNGO, the Youth and Children constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), resonated powerfully within the COP28 decision-making process. An integral part of YOUNGO, Food@COP, a spirited campaign dedicated to promoting climate-friendly catering at COP events, played a pivotal role in advocating for a menu overhaul. These youthful advocates, with their fervor for a more sustainable world, epitomize the monumental influence that passionate young people can wield on the global stage.
Collaborating with these dynamic youth groups, ProVeg International has been at the forefront of supporting the realization of the 1.5°C-aligned menu. ProVeg’s mission revolves around the promotion of plant-based diets, reflecting their unwavering commitment to this groundbreaking initiative. The partnership between passionate youth movements and experienced organizations like ProVeg demonstrates that working hand in hand can lead to transformative change.
COP28’s decision to adopt the “1.5-degree Celsius-aligned menu” is a resounding acknowledgement of the critical relationship between food and climate change. The production of food, particularly within the livestock sector, plays a significant role in global greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. By embracing plant-based options, COP28 sends a clear message about its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and pave the way for a more climate-resilient future.
This menu transformation at COP28 holds the promise of triggering a global ripple effect, with similar changes anticipated at future events and conferences. It serves as a living testament to the transformative potential of youth-led initiatives and underscores the pivotal role of young people who believe in a more sustainable and eco-conscious world. As the world’s attention turns to COP28, the influence of these visionary young minds should be celebrated. They exemplify the incredible impact that passionate youth voices can have on steering the planet towards a more sustainable future.
As young people continue to empower themselves and find innovative ways to create a better world, we can look forward to a future where the plant-based marketplace flourishes, aligning with the aspirations of a new generation set on making a positive impact on our planet.