Less meat on the German Green Summit menu


BERLIN, June 24 (Reuters) – Leaders gathered for a G7 summit in southern Germany this weekend would normally have every reason to expect sumptuous Bavarian specialties like Schweinshaxe, a succulent pork knuckle dripping with grease, and a host of other meat dishes.

But not this time. Sustainability is the watchword this year, not only for this summit, but for all the international meetings that Germany hosts. And what is good for the environment is less so for lovers of traditional German meat cuisine.

“There is less meat on the menu at all G7 meetings,” sighed a minister at the start of the year. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs insists.”

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The Green Greens are the second largest party in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three-party coalition, and all party ministers are keen to put an environmental footprint on their policies.

In the case of the portfolio of Greens foreign minister Annalena Baerbock, this extends to international summits.

Many agronomists argue that eating meat is a luxury humanity is increasingly unable to afford – total greenhouse gas emissions from raising and eating beef can be up to to 200 times that resulting from nuts or root vegetables.

Berlin will only release the executives’ menus after eating, but the trend is clear from the catering already announced for the thousands of staff and journalists who will attend the Alpine rally.

“The focus will be on seasonal and creative vegan and vegetarian foods,” the government said of the expected output from the event’s 50 cooks. “Meat and fish are deliberately seen only as ‘add-ons’.”

Leaders in Germany, the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Italy and Japan will no doubt have more important concerns than cooking.

As Russian gas supplies dwindle amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Economy Minister Robert Habeck, a Green, has been forced to grant a reprieve to coal-fired power plants German pollutants.

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Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Jan Harvey

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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