The menu at the COP26 climate summit of the UN has been criticized by activists for its large carbon footprint. It is quite ironic that a summit on climate change would feature the beef on its menu that is known for the huge carbon footprint it leaves.
A report by WION News on the matter says:
Activists have criticised the menu being served at this year’s UN climate summit in Glasgow. It has at least one item that had a significantly larger carbon footprint than the average meal in the UK. The COP26 released the menu online for all to see and showcased the carbon impact, The Hill reported.
The haggis dish, which was pointed by the website, was twice the carbon footprint of the average meal in the UK. As per the report, there was a separate menu for burgers and half of which had about the same footprint as the haggis dish only.
As per the menu, 95% food was locally sourced and seasonal. “Many of our suppliers are based within 100 miles of Glasgow, which supports our aspirations of delivering a lower carbon menu. About 40% of the options were plant-based and “plant-forward alternatives,” the menu read.
Heura Foods co-founder Bernat Ananos Martinez was one of the activists who was quick to point out the hypocrisy of the COP26 organizers. He equated serving beef at the summit to supplying cigarettes at a conference on lung cancer.
By and large, beef is known to cause huge environmental damage. Besides, the consequences of the global meat industry are damaging, to say the least. A summit like the COP26 is expected to walk the talk rather than making these conferences merely a routine exercise. Although it is appreciable that climate activists are calling out western hypocrisy, such a patronizing attitude of the west is nothing new. On the one hand, developing nations are held guilty by the developed nations of causing environmental damage through emissions, on the other, the latter refuses to take responsibility for their own emissions that adversely impact the environment.
“The Glasgow summit so far has been an unsurprising display of pious humbug and clever cooking of books by the richest and most industrialized nations that are eager to escape responsibilities and blame for their failed promises on emissions and funds, while finding newer ways to shift the burden of their inaction on poorer nations — all the while managing to sound morally superior”, writes Sreemoy Talukdar.
So it isn’t just the menu but the summit, on the whole, appears to be nothing but an event for the richer nations of the world to extol the necessity of ‘saving the environment while doing nothing concrete on their part. Speeches are good but without action to match the words, they are meaningless.
Ironically, the rich nations that have carbon-guzzled their way to prosperity, now want Bharat to commit a zero-emissions date. The headlines run by some western media houses is nothing but hypocrisy of the highest order. The west is single-handedly responsible for pumping large amounts of carbon in the atmosphere but it now wants the developing and poor nations to pay for its recklessness.
“The concept of ‘net zero’ itself is meaningless because it kicks the can of climate action down the road and gives global climate activists something to chew on while the richer nations, who have stronger economies and more resources at disposal, find a way to evade their financial commitments towards helping the poorer nations transition to a greener economy”, opines Talukdar.
Holding summits but refusing to shoulder responsibility for reducing carbon footprint amounts to nothing. Action and not words are the need of the hour.
(Featured Image Source: COP26 Facebook page)