top of page

OpEd: Alex Crisp COP28 Leaders Goodies or Baddies Or A Farce Rigged To Fail

Alex Crisp - Podcaster

Alex Crisp: Producer & Host of 'Future-of-Foods' interviews / Regulatory Lawyer / 👻 Writer, Communicator, and Journalist / Talks About Cellular Agriculture /

December 10th was food day at Cop28.

They served up plant based meals and discussed the future of global nutrition. Record numbers of delegates from the world’s largest agribusiness firms such as JBS, Nestlé, Bayer, and industry trade groups, flew in from all over the world.

DeSmog analysis shows that the total number of people representing the interests of agribusiness more than doubled since 2022 to reach 340.

The United Nations FAO Global Roadmap, published on the 10th December, states: “The planet faces crises, exceeding safe limits in six of nine planetary boundaries, majorly tied to agrifood systems.” It goes on to say: Agrifood systems face a dilemma: producing more now to address immediate needs, while endangering future food security and nutrition – or curb production to reduce emissions. This perceived trade-off has led to inaction and emboldens climate action skeptics.”

Food is a huge issue and the UN roadmap illustrates clearly the anticipated decline of food security around the world. I’ve heard it said often that we are living through difficult times - this is true and for this we’re expected to blame the poor, the homeless, the stateless, and the most vulnerable in society. Increased food insecurity means we will see many more of these stateless, homeless, destitutes in future - so we’ll have plenty more people to blame.

But seriously though - who are the real baddies in all this? The Guardian journalist, George Monbiot called Cop28 “a farce rigged to fail”

Global Witness discovered that ‘At least 2456 fossil fuel lobbyists have been granted access to the COP28 summit in Dubai, signalling an unprecedented presence at crucial climate talks from representatives of some of the world’s biggest polluters. This is a higher number than any single delegation and is almost double the entire attendance from the ten most climate vulnerable nations.’

Dr Sultan Al Jaber

Source: COP28

Sultan al-Jaber is the chair of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), he leads a company that pumped 2.7m barrels of oil a day in 2021, and plans to double that by 2027. And yes, he’s the president of Cop 28. He denied accusations that he planned to use the COP presidency as an opportunity to strike oil and gas deals with 15 nations.

It seems too awful to imagine the corporate bosses, the human beings, the parents and partners, sitting around boardroom tables putting profits before lives. But make no mistake this is exactly what they’re doing. This is not new either - kings, queens and aristocrats have planned for centuries the deaths of thousands, on the battle field, all in pursuit of power. The difference now is scale - instead of thousands of lives at stake, there are many millions, including their own and those of their families. The principle is the same - power and wealth.

The 'dark side of business'

Lies, damned lies and cry babies.

It took more than fifty years to learn the full extent of climate damage caused by fossil fuel extraction and burning, despite the science being readily available at least since the 1970s.

The tobacco companies got away with decades of denying that smoking caused death, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

In the UK the water companies reap huge profits for shareholders whilst openly allowing the rivers to be polluted and wildlife to be killed.

Corporations faced with group actions for harm to employees would rather pay hundreds of millions to lawyers to delay and obfuscate, preferring to wait for claimants to die rather than pay them what they deserve.

The clues are all about us. Listen for the hateful things they say. See how easily they support aggression and cry for war. Watch how they reward greed and enrich the wealthy whilst ignoring the sick and vulnerable. Then they pit one group against another, creating division and societal breakdown. They damage nature and our environment without care. Yes, it seems that we’ve allowed ourselves to be taken over by dark-lords.

Bad people can act like our friends - they’re devious. We’ve had it modelled to us by history, in literature, and for decades in Hollywood films; and yet we don’t spot it when it happens today. Charles Dickens knew how to write a good baddy - Uriah Heep was the perfect example. He lied and cheated, he cowered and cried for sympathy. Think about that. Crying on TV to get our forgiveness - if your partner or friend did that what would you do? I can imagine Darth Vadar doing it on his climb up to Supreme Lord and Commander.

Who you gonna call?

Today the very people who should be exposing this, our media, are sitting at that table alongside the corporate bosses, the politicians, the kings and the aristocrats - planning massive power grabs, billionaire media moguls pulling the strings.

*The fossil fuel companies fight tooth and nail to maintain their profits, their shareholders fight just as hard to save their pensions, the general public fight damned hard to maintain the status quo and the various populist governments around the world fight “night and day” and “tirelessly” to (be seen to) give the public what they want - enabling fossil fuel companies along the way.

And on it goes... on and on.

Dirty Planet interests fighting for control

Source: Copyright Prompts PFN 2023

In the 1960s they had the musicians and the poets, the writers and artists calling out the establishment. Bob Dylan warned the politicians in 1964 that the Times Were A Changin’. The clever young things marched for civil liberties and freedoms. Now the young activists are labelled terrorists and rebels by those very same clever young things.

What would David Bowie say about,

“... these children that you spit onAs they try to change their worlds...” ?

And remember that Darth Vadar called Skywalker’s army the Rebel Alliance.

Evidently the times never changed, other than for Dylan who got rich. And now those clever young things are collecting their pensions as stakeholders and shareholders in the companies.

'Mind The Planet' Protest' depiction

Source: Copyright Prompts PFN 2023

The UN’s climate science body the IPCC indicated that the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement cannot be met without climate action on food.

However, as announced on the 10th December the Cop28 UN Roadmap calls for further intensification of livestock production: “producers should intensify production in extensive systems, promote fattening livestock solutions, develop more digestible feeds” - with an eye on reducing methane emissions by 25% by 2030. More intensive farming but feed them seaweed and insects.

The united nations environment programme states that: “Methane is the primary contributor to the formation of ground-level ozone, a hazardous air pollutant and greenhouse gas, exposure to which causes 1 million premature deaths every year. Methane is also a powerful greenhouse gas. Over a 20-year period, it is 80 times more potent at warming than carbon dioxide.”

Should we feel comfort from the fact that the world, once again, is in the hands of (mostly) men who sit around a table drawing up plans for power.

Access insightful discussions on cellular agriculture, fungi, and cultivated meat at Alex Crisp's Future of Food Podcast



Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Dec 22, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Hard hitting and true


Dec 13, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great read


Dec 13, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.




bottom of page