The Center for Biological Diversity announced in a press release that the climate cost of the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change conference, COP24, could go up to more than 4,000 metric tons of greenhouse gasses — the equivalent of flying 3000 people across the Atlantic.
The food court of the 12-day event is laden with meat and fish based dishes while it only offers two vegan and three vegetarian options.
According to environmental scientist Dr Isaac Emery's menu analysis:
- The average greenhouse gasses generated by the meat and fish based options on the menu are four times higher than the ones generated by plant-based options.
- If the organisers replaced the beef patties on cheeseburgers they serve with a plant-based alternative, it could cut each burger's carbon footprint by 82 percent
- If the organisers replaced the fish or shrimp with tofu, it could cut the dishes carbon footprint by 50 percent.
- One of the two vegan meals offered are cabbage and mushroom dumplings; this meals carbon footprint is 24 times lower than its pork and beef counterpart, also served at the food court.
- On top of resulting in much higher greenhouse gas emissions, the meat-based dishes require seven times more land and twice as much water compared to plant-based dishes.
Stephanie Feldstein, director of the Population and Sustainability program at the Center for Biological Diversity said: "If the world leaders gathering in Poland hope to address the climate crisis, they need to tackle overconsumption of meat and dairy, starting with what's on their own plates."