Climate Change and the Global Diet: Meatless Monday at COP21

December 21st, 2015

In early December of this year, representatives from more than 200 nations gathered to discuss and decide the future of climate change and the fate of our planet. The COP21 gathering in Paris brought together representatives from around the world with one goal: to create and enact policies that would limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2030.

Meatless Monday Advocates at COP21

(from left to right) Miki Haimovich, Meatless Monday Israel; Nicola Pearson, Meat Free Monday UAE; Morgan Johnson, The Monday Campaigns/Meatless Monday; Kristie Middleton, The Humane Society of the U.S.; Jacqui Sinclair, Meatless Monday Jamaica; Francesca Molica Colell, Lunedì No Meat

While many proposals would help achieve this goal, reaching it is impossible unless meat production and consumption is included in the equation. Unfortunately meat was not a subject under discussion at the COP21 talks. Luckily, the Meatless Monday team and 15 Meatless Monday global partners were there to bring the subject into the spotlight. Together they staged a successful event educating attendees about the effects of meat consumption while demonstrating the depth and diversity of the Meatless Monday movement around the world. The presentation was held at the Climate Generations area next to the Paris-Le Bourget site, and included a panel of environmental and health experts as well as talks on tactical ways to create change.

MM panel
Highlights from the event included a keynote address from Uffe Elbæk, a presentation on the science behind the movement by Roni Neff and Rachel Santo of the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future, a video from Meatless Monday, and insights from the Meatless Monday global partners. The presentation reached attendees from around the world, and has possibly influenced celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and inspired them to advocate going meatless for a few days each week.
Through the presentation and discussion, Meatless Monday was able to insert the dramatic effects of meat production and consumption into the climate change conversation. Meatless Monday was proud to spread the word about cutting out meat once a week and share ways everyday people can reduce global warming right from the dinner table!