COP18: Loving Hut is offering a green and healthy solution to climate change
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Vegans serve up green solution to climate change

Loving Hut is offering a green and healthy solution to reduce Man’s impact

Changing our eating habits could make a big difference to climate change, according to a vegan organisation.

Visitors attending the Loving Hut stand at Qatar Sustainability Expo have been sampling meals ranging from “steak” to “sushi”, with one big difference – none of them contain meat.

Loving Hut is a vegan organisation that uses products such as soy protein to replace meat. Its founders believe that a simple way to reduce climate change is to change your diet.

The idea began at COP15/CMP5 in Copenhagen, when a group of vegans got together to promote their views. Two years ago Loving Hut was born and the vegan restaurant chain now has more than 200 outlets in more than 30 countries.

Brenda Wang, the executive director of Loving Hut USA, said that attitudes towards vegan food were changing. She said: “If you think that in two years we have been able to open more than 200 restaurants in more than 30 countries, then I think the world is ready. Every COP we go to the first question people ask is, ‘What does food have to do with climate change?’ and then when we talk to them about it, the second question they ask is ‘Why did it take so long for this idea to get here?’ ”

At 5.30pm on Wednesday Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop, the executive director of the World Preservation Foundation, will give a talk at Qatar Sustainability Expo, at Doha Exhibition Centre, about how veganism can help tackle climate change.

He said there are two parts to the solution. The first is that reducing short-lived climate pollutants - such as methane, black carbon and tropospheric ozone, which are caused by grassland fires and livestock - can slow global warming. The second, long-term fix, is to stop eating meat and return the world’s grazing pastures to forests, savannah and native grasslands.

He said: “People are desperate for solutions. It is a radical, but a natural solution. A lot of people are becoming vegans but most people are very resistant to this idea. However the tide is turning and I believe that within a decade we will see desperate measures being looked at. I believe that humans are slow but they are not stupid, so they will look at this even though it seems a way out idea now. It is safe, it is effective, it is low cost. It means changing what we eat but if changing what we eat can save the world we will do it.”