It’s Conference of the Parties time again. If you you thought COP21 in Paris two years ago had solved the climate crisis you haven’t been paying attention to your favourite site. As we reported a year ago, COP22 last year in Marrakesh brought together the normal tens of thousands of delegates, including six professors and a Vice Chancellor from Sheffield University, five men from the the Association Of Bladi Women for Development and Tourism, and four from the International Potato Center.
This year’s meeting in Bonn promises to be just as funpacked, though without the poolside cocktails. Bonn used to be one of the world’s most important capital cities, until something historic happened and it’s not any more, which makes it a rather appropriate setting for the post Paris mop up.
Hello and welcome to our new front pages just in time for 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn. We would like to thank the German Government for their voluntary funding and support in making this more dynamic newsroom and COP23 information site possible. The relaunch is part of a much wider upgrade of the UN Climate Change secretariat’s web presence that we are working on. Over the coming months, after COP23, we plan to retire the old, now very antiquated, ‘white pages’ and move to a new, 21st century system with modern features and better accessibility. We would like to thank especially the Government of Norway and the European Union for their voluntary support for the wider initiative. We hope you like the new COP23 front as a taster for even bigger and better enhancements to come.
There’s also an article about what the delegates will mostly be eating this week:
COP will be attended by around 25,000 participants – and all of them need to eat and drink. This means a lot of meals, and potentially a high carbon footprint just from catering. In order to make the conference fully climate neutral, the logistical organizers are making the catering both tasty and sustainable.
“We are keen to ensure that catering at the conference is environmentally friendly,” says Michael Schroeren, spokesman for Germany’s Environment Ministry (BMUB). “That is why we chose to offer mainly vegetarian food and only certified fish and organic meat.” The FAO says that global livestock alone –including cattle, swine, sheep and all other animals raised to produce meat, milk, leather or wool – account for 14.5 percent of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions.The menu will thus see vegetarian versions of such popular dishes as a stew known as Gulasch, as well as Chili and Paella. [What, no kohlrabi?]
In addition, all meat and seafood that is dished up at COP23 must be organic, with the fish certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, an organization which guarantees high sustainability standards.
Another source of food-related emissions is transport. Because of this, the COP23 organizers require from caterers that at least 20 percent of the food come from Bonn and surroundings. “That means there will be cabbage dishes on the menu, as well as carrots and beets,” says Beate Frey-Stiltz of Germany’s environment ministry. “Basically everything the region has to offer this time of year.” At the same time, caterers will make best possible use of leftovers, for instance by turning left-over fruit and vegetables into smoothies.
Something the organic recyclers don’t seem to realise is that a gas is a gas, whether it comes from out of a cow’s anus or a fermented kraut smoothy. (Sorry Beate, I didn’t mean you.)