Plantbased Business Hour

The Director of UN Affairs at ProVeg International, Raphael Podselver, at COP28

The Director of UN Affairs at ProVeg International, Raphael Podselver, joins Elysabeth to highlight the advancements surrounding food transformation based on diversified proteins at COP28 on this episode of The Plantbased Business Hour.

Specifically, they discuss the list of the many steps forward.

Below is a highlight clip and transcription with Raphael Podselver. Podcast here.

Elysabeth: Director of UN Affairs at ProVeg, Raphael Podselver, thank you for being with me.

Raphael Podselver: It’s a pleasure. It’s great to be with you, Elysabeth.

Elysabeth: What has happened thus far?

Raphael Podselver: I think a lot has happened. Usually I wouldn’t take notes after a COP because nothing happens on food systems and you try to do things and have side events to engage with negotiators. I have to say a lot happened on food [at this COP.] We had the Emirates Declaration to start with, I think on day 2 of the COP, on Food Systems, Sustainable Agriculture, and Resilient Food Systems. It’s a very important tool signed by over 140 countries because it encourages countries to integrate food systems transformation into their national contributions and in their climate plans. So that’s extremely important.

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One day after the Emirates Declaration, on day 3, on climate and health we had a health declaration which was really good because it pushed a shift towards healthy, sustainable diets in the second paragraph. So it’s very important and also signed by over 140 countries. We’re still waiting to see if food is going to be part of the global stock-take. It will be a very important tool and the main topic of this COP. We are hopeful that it is going to make it. We just heard that some countries like Rwanda and Germany have said that we have to integrate food in the global stock-take if we want to really achieve the Paris Agreement.

The FAO road map was published today with a lot of mentions of healthy sustainable diets. I think it missed the point of alternative proteins and protein diversification which in my opinion should play a bigger role, but it’s very encouraging to have a tool like this one: the FAO roadmap. We know the complexity of having older countries and the different stakeholders from the FAO be behind that, so it’s also a very important tool.

The agricultural negotiations themselves were very disappointing. We didn’t really achieve anything else besides procedural conclusions, so it was very difficult, but we know that it’s been very difficult before that. Finally, I think it was also very nice to see that it’s a COP where you can have lunch and eat, because we campaigned very hard in making sure that the catering is more plant-rich and more plant-based and that there are options for everyone. This is really good to see because I think it’s also more affordable than last year which is also very important. You have delegates from all around the world that cannot always afford a fifteen euro sandwich so it’s really good to see that there’s been progress in the quality, the affordability, and the sustainability of the food served that is much more plant-based because the president committed to have one-third of the food served be vegetarian or vegan. So that is very good progress.

It’a also very important for the U.N. to walk the talk and to also show that we’re eating more sustainably at a climate conference.

Elysabeth Alfano is the CEO of VegTech™ Invest, the advisor to the VegTech™ Plant-based Innovation & Climate ETF, EATV. She is also the founder of Plant Powered Consulting and the Host of the Plantbased Business Hour.

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