Menu At COP26 Climate Summit Likened To ‘Serving Cigarettes At A Lung Cancer Conference’

by : Cameron Frew on : 03 Nov 2021 16:17
Menu At COP26 Climate Summit Likened To 'Serving Cigarettes At A Lung Cancer Conference'Alamy

The menu for COP26 delegates has been compared to ‘serving cigarettes at a lung cancer conference’.

Hundreds of world leaders, journalists and other delegates around the globe have gathered in Glasgow for the climate change conference, with promises to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions and hopefully prevent the Earth’s temperature from rising much further.


However, campaigners have been left stunned by the abundance of meat and dairy on offer at the summit, as they’re among the ‘leading producers of greenhouse gas emissions’, Animal Rebellion earlier said.

Burgers on the COP26 menu. (A Recipe For Change)A Recipe For Change

The menu, available to view online, boasts a wide selection of dishes with the likes of burgers, venison, beef ramen and haggis, among others – in total, around half of the dishes include meat.

For example, a plate of haggis, neeps and tatties used 3.4kg of carbon to produce, which is double the footprint of the average UK meal (1.7kg), and almost seven times more than the target of 0.5kg – however, two-thirds of the menu meets this level of carbon.


The National Food Strategy, an previous report commissioned by the government, suggested a £125 million investment in alternative products as our ‘current appetite for meat is unsustainable… plant-based proteins produce 70 times less greenhouse gas emissions than an equivalent amount of beef, and use 150 times less land.’

Joel Scott-Halkes, a spokesperson for Animal Rebellion, said, ‘The utterly reckless inclusion of meat, seafood and dairy on the COP26 catering menu is a damning indictment of the UK government’s utter failure to grasp the root cause of the climate crisis,’ The Big Issue reports.

‘It’s like serving cigarettes at a lung cancer conference. As long as such illogical decisions are being made, the climate emergency will never be resolved.’


The menu’s website notes the need for more sustainable choices. ‘Plant-based food (food consisting solely of vegetables, grains, pulses, or other foods derived from plants, rather than animal products) is one of the most effective ways for us to reduce emissions. As such we have switched at least 40% of our dishes at COP26 to plant-based alternatives,’ it reads.

‘The majority of our suppliers come from within 100 miles of Glasgow, significantly reducing the transportation footprint. Only a very small % of our produce will come from outside the UK.’

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Food, Climate Change, COP26, meat, Now


The Big Issue
  1. The Big Issue

    The COP26 menu is ‘like serving cigarettes at a lung cancer conference’