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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

COP28: Key takeaways for the cell-based food sector

The Cell Base summarises some of the major takeaways from this year's COP28 event in Dubai.

More than 70,000 delegates were in attendance at the Dubai event this year, and they were served largely climate-friendly meals, with the COP28 Presidency’s decision to serve two-thirds plant-based food.

On the first full day of COP28, a declaration on sustainable agriculture was signed by countries who pledged to reduce carbon emissions from the food system by including them in their Nationally Determined Contributions and other national climate action plans.

Two days later saw the official launch of another Declaration highlighting the benefits to health gained from countries shifting to “healthy, sustainable diets”.

Midway through COP28, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) held a press conference in Dubai to launch a report that recognises the importance of transforming the food system with novel protein alternatives. UNEP chief executive, Inger Andersen, said: "What and how we eat impacts human, animal and planetary health". She also mentioned the damage to nature from conventional meat and dairy, such as deforestation from livestock and feed production.

Cell-based meat company Newform Foods has summarised the major takeaways from this year’s COP28 event in Dubai.

Food sustainability was made a top priority at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), with links between food systems, agriculture and climate change discussed.

Newform Foods’ co-founder and COO Tasneem Karodia emphasised the importance of collaboration. “It’s becoming clear from a global perspective that there are many companies focusing on tangible solutions to the climate crisis. While these solutions are crucial, we cannot simply operate in silos. Collaboration and transparency are how we’re going to make a real impact. Being able to chat about what we’re bringing to the table with other leaders made this apparent.”

Karodia noted that there is no silver bullet solution. She stressed that when facing a challenge as widespread as climate change, we need multiple solutions working together, rather than viewing the solution from a single perspective.

She explained: “It’s also about giving consumers a variety of options if we want these solutions to become mainstream. More plant-based food, coupled with the option of real meat made from cells, while working with sustainable agriculture, is an ecosystem of progress that we need to look at collectively.”

As well as Newform Foods’ participation, The Cultivated B (TCB) also took part in the event. Hamid Noori, CEO of TCB, commented: “Our mission at The Cultivated B is to not only optimise cellular agriculture processes but to lead a revolution towards a sustainable future. Our participation in COP28 is a testament to our commitment, which is to collaborate with global stakeholders, sharing our vision and innovations and working together to address the critical issue of climate change.”

He continued: “TCB is fully dedicated to climate action, integrating this commitment into every facet of our business. At COP28, we are excited to bridge the gap between the potential of cellular agriculture and global stakeholders, fostering an ecosystem of mutual success and sustainable progress.”

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