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UN climate summit serving gourmet burgers, BBQ as it calls for Americans to stop eating meat

The ongoing climate change summit hosted by the United Nations is offering various high-quality meat options for attendees, even as it calls for lower beef consumption.

The ongoing United Nations COP28 climate summit in Dubai is offering a wide variety of gourmet food options from vendors who serve beef, even as it prepares a report that is expected to call for the West to reduce consumption of beef.

According to the summit's online portal, its food offerings include "juicy beef," "slabs of succulent meat," smoked wagyu burgers, Philly cheesesteaks and "melt-in-your-mouth BBQ" in addition to African street BBQ, fast casual Mexican fare and an Asian option that has a "touch of French flair." The revelation comes as the U.N. faces criticism for preparing a first-of-its-kind report that is expected to be published at the summit and call for lower meat consumption.

The U.N.'s Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) will publish its first-ever global food systems’ road map during an upcoming COP28 session, which is expected to recommend nations that "over-consume meat" to limit their consumption as part of a broader effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.N. has, for years, called for individuals to ditch animal-based diets, which it says "have a high impact on our planet."

"FAO emphasizes the critical need for an innovative plan and a concrete package of solutions to overhaul agrifood systems," the organization said in a statement to Fox News Digital. "The Global Roadmap is positioned as a strategic tool to demonstrate that accelerated climate actions can transform agrifood systems, simultaneously addressing food security and nutrition challenges today and in the future without breaching the 1.5 degrees threshold. In this roadmap, FAO is urging for good food for today and tomorrow."


"The core goal is to achieve [Sustainable Development Goal 2]; Zero Hunger, while being climate-friendly, to attract climate financing for mitigation, adaptation, and resilience, along with the actions required to support the achievement of 1.5 degrees (by 2050) based on country commitment, consensus, and country transition," FAO's statement continued.

However, despite the recommendations of the upcoming FAO report and the U.N.'s repeated calls for people to transition to plant-based diets, roughly a third of the food vendors at COP28 provide meat options, according to the summit's data. The summit said that figure represented a victory as part of its commitment to deliver "environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, delicious, and nutritious food and beverage."


In May, Sultan Al Jaber, the president-designate of COP28, said in a letter to activists that the summit would "ensure the availability of plant-based food options that are affordable, nutritious, and locally and regionally sourced, with clear emissions labeling." His letter came in response to repeated calls from the Food@COP climate activist group for the summit to cut back on meat options.

"We know that our food systems are intrinsically linked to the fate of our natural world, and so we have made the progressive decision to ensure that we explore how the catering provided across the event can be responsible and climate conscious, helping to echo the emphasis we have placed on the Emirates Declaration," Mariam Almheiri, the director of COP28's food system program, said in October.

Among the food options offered for attendees are The Hungry Hub, which offers beef and meat; Philly Jawn by Ghostburger, which offers burgers and Philly cheesesteaks; Swaggers, which offers smoked ribs and smoked wagyu burgers; and Mattar Farm Live Cooking, which serves "unbelievable smoked meats" and "melt-in-your-mouth BBQ."

"The hypocrisy of the global elites never ceases to amaze. They’re the same ones who want working people to swear off flying at all while they get to travel to glitzy conferences on private jets to push a radical green agenda," Rep. Mike Flood, R-Neb., a member of the Congressional Beef Caucus, told Fox News Digital in a statement.

"COP28 putting meat on the menu just proves that we need beef and all kinds of meat to help feed the world," he continued. "And that’s why I’ll keep fighting the U.N. and the global elites who are trying to kill meat production, which would only shatter the world’s food security and end an age-old way of life for millions of farmers and ranchers around the world."


The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), which represents American beef producers, also criticized the U.N. ahead of the FAO's global food systems’ road map report, pointing to the industry's relatively low carbon footprint.

"As delegates from around the world are preparing to gather in Dubai to identify solutions to the climate change crisis, we call on them to look at solutions holistically. Solutions that seek to reduce meat consumption are misguided and will only lead to limited consumer choice and higher food prices," NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital.

"At a time when malnutrition plagues countries across the world, a reduction of high-quality animal protein would disproportionately impact consumers who can ill-afford to pay more and are ultimately at the highest risk of malnutrition," Lane added. "Reducing beef consumption in the U.S. is not a realistic or impactful solution for climate change. America’s beef producers and consumers around the globe deserve real solutions to the climate issue, not artificial barriers to protein consumption that will do nothing to solve the world’s climate issues."

The global food system — which includes land-use change, actual agricultural production, packaging and waste management — generates about 18 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of 34% of total worldwide emissions, according to a March 2021 study published in the Nature Food journal. FAO data indicates livestock alone is responsible for around 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

In the U.S., however, agriculture alone generates about 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions, federal data shows. The American agriculture sector accounts for just 1.4% of global emissions and has implemented a wide range of solutions, making it the nation's lowest-emitting economic sector.

And beef cattle in the U.S. are responsible for just 2% of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions and less than 0.5% of the world’s emissions.

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