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UNFSS: Diet change or climate-change? Unlocking the potential of plant based innovation

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UNFSS: Diet change or climate-change? Unlocking the potential of plant based innovation

Date: Wednesday, 27 July, 2021
2:00 AM EDT (28 July) | 1:00 AM CDT (28 July) | 11:00 PM PDT

Context and background of the session

Animal agriculture contributes to 14.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions and has been associated with other challenges such as biodiversity loss, deforestation, water use or soil degradation. A transition to more plant-centered diets has been identified as one of the key mitigation solutions and presents multiple co-benefits from a health and environment perspective. However, despite the scientific evidence and support by a majority of scientists and experts, many in the North are still struggling to reduce their consumption of animal sourced proteins. As the COVID-19 pandemic once again highlighted the threat of zoonotic diseases and questioned our current interaction with nature, an increasing number of consumers are going for more plant-based products, as reflected in the booming sales of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives. What does the rise of plant-based food innovation imply for consumers, farmers and the food industry in general? And could it be one of the key solutions to build more resilient and climate-friendly food systems? How do we get there?

Key intended outcomes

  • Creating a solution space with concrete outcomes and proposals for a resilient and climate-friendly post COVID-19 food system.
  • Encourage the actual trend towards protein diversification while acknowledging cultural and regional specificities and obligations.
  • Allow for an open and honest discussion on the challenges to tackle, from the poor nutritional value of some products to over packaging and marketing.


Raphael Podselver (ProVeg International)
Siska Pottie (EAPF)
Tiffany Tu (Tzu Chi)
Shirley Lu (ProVeg Asia)
Innovators Hub: Cecilia McAleavey (Oatly), Dr. Jeanette Fielding (Upfield), Absie Pantschwa (Mzansi Meat)
Noga Kronfeld-Schor (Chief Scientist, Israeli Ministry of Env. Protection)

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