The COP26 menu featured large quantities of unsustainable meat and dairy leaving activists shaking their heads in disbelief.

Eco-activists have lashed out at COP26 organisers over the blue zone menu which features a burger with the carbon equivalent of a ten-mile journey.

Animal rights groups compared offering meat and dairy at the climate summit to ‘serving cigarettes at a lung cancer conference’.

The Government promised the food served to delegates would be almost 60 percent meat and dairy based and sourced from Scottish farms. Every meal offered on the menu at Glasgow’s SEC has a carbon dioxide score rating, which measures how much greenhouse gas was emitted to create it. Critics have pointed out that some of the dishes, including the burger and mozarella pizza, have a carbon footprint of 2.1 to 3.9kg Co2.

Some 80 percent of the ingredients are from Scotland, which cut down on transport emissions, but meat is still more damaging to the environment than vegetables because of the impact of feeding the animal. Joel Scott-Halkes, a spokesperson for campaign group Animal Rebellion, told the Big Issue that offering meat, seafood and dairy at a climate conference was like ‘serving cigarettes at a lung cancer conference’.

The Salmon and Conservation Trust also questioned the sustainability of the farmed salmon on offer. Andrew Graham-Stewart, director of Salmon and Trout Conservation, said the decision ‘beggars belief’.

The menu’s lowest carbon options were meat free – including a kale and vegetable pasta dish which created just 0.3kg of carbon per serving.

Swedish start-up Klimato was responsible for calculating the carbon footprint of all menu items. It said it wanted to ‘help [people] choose the dishes with the lowest carbon footprint’ but it is unclear what happens to the high-carbon food if no one chooses to eat it.

What is the carbon footprint of the items on the COP26 menu?

  • Canned Scottish Beetroot and Broccoli Salad 0.2kg Co2
  • Shredded Scottish Chicken Salad 0.5kg Co2
  • Loch Duart Smoked Salmon and Fennel Salad 0.4kg Co2
  • Organic Kale and Seasonal Vegetable Pasta 0.3kg Co2
  • Gartmorn Farm Turkey Meatballs 0.9kg Co2
  • Scottish Beef Burger 3.9kg Co2
  • Buttermilk Grilled Chicken Burger 1.1kg Co2
  • Herblabism Herb Burger 0.6kg Co2
  • Scottish Field Mushroom Pizza 0.8kg Co2
  • Smoked Chicken Pizza 1.7kg Co2
  • Scottish Buffalo Mozzarella 2.1kg Co2

Each page on the menu reads: ‘According to the WWF, we need to get [the carbon footprint of food] down below 0.5kg CO2e [per meal] to reach the goals defined in the Paris Agreement. By including climate labels on our menus, we aim to make it easier to achieve this goal – together.’

Mr Scott-Halkes added that serving meat was ‘reckless’ and slammed it as a ‘damning indictment of the UK government’s utter failure to grasp the root cause of the climate crisis’. Mr Graham-Steward added: ‘To include farmed salmon on the COP26 menu beggars belief. One wonders what level of scrutiny and due diligence was applied before the menu was finalised.’

This comes as Extinction Rebellion activists marched through the south side of Glasgow as part of a demonstration around the Cop26 summit. The ‘march for peace’ started at a Home Office building in Cessnock before heading along Govan Road towards the BAS Systems facility. Protesters gave speeches and banged drums outside the Home Office building before setting off.

Earlier, protesters dressed as Pikachu gathered opposite the Cop26 conference as climate protests continue in Glasgow. The giant Pokemon were demanding an end to Japan’s support for coal power. On Thursday morning, a group called No Coal Japan held up a banner saying ‘Japan, time to end coal’ on the opposite bank of the Clyde. They say Japan is continuing to finance coal plants in Bangladesh and Indonesia.

It comes after several demonstrations took place in Glasgow on Wednesday, including an Extinction Rebellion march through the city attended by hundreds. On Wednesday evening, Police Scotland said five arrests had been made at the demonstration, including two after an incident where officers were sprayed with paint. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: ‘We will provide a proportionate policing response to any protest and it is therefore extremely disappointing that officers were assaulted by having paint sprayed in their faces. These officers were simply doing their job and trying to protect people and keep them safe.’

On Friday, thousands are expected to march through Glasgow with the Fridays for Future movement founded by Greta Thunberg. Saturday will see another large march from the Cop26 Coalition, with organisers saying tens of thousands are expected.

Original source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk