Dr Helen Harwatt

Dr Helen Harwatt

Dr Helen Harwatt is an international award winning researcher and scientific author specialising in the field of planetary health, with a focus on food systems shifts and climate change mitigation. Helen is a fellow of the Animal Law and Policy Program at Harvard Law School, focussing on the role of animal to plant protein shifts in meeting climate change targets and other environmental goals. Current research includes identifying a strategy for including animal to plant protein shifts in climate change mitigation policy; and a comprehensive assessment of pathways that shift food systems to minimise resource inputs, and maximise beneficial outputs including food security, food sovereignty, natural habitat restoration, and biodiversity conservation.    

Prior to this, Helen spent 2 years working with a number of NGOs and institutes on their sustainable food programs, measuring the environmental impact of food procurement, identifying quick wins, and setting out a longer term plan including reduction targets and implementation pathways.

Helen also spent 3 years developing the environmental nutrition research program at the Loma Linda University in California, and 7 years at the University of Leeds’ Sustainability Research Institute, contributing to a number of multidisciplinary research projects on the topic of climate change mitigation, focused on consumers, businesses and governments, as an affiliate of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Centre for Low Carbon Futures. 

Sunday - VGN Climate Summit
2:00pm

Moving to a plant-based food system: What do the experts say?

A number of influential studies suggest we need to move to a plant-based food system to tackle climate change. We speak to representatives from Oxford University and Harvard on what we need to do and whether certain claims are exaggerated

Auditorium full timetable

Sunday
11:15 - 11:45

Eating our way to extinction? Reconfiguring food systems to help tackle the wildlife crisis

Dr Helen Harwatt is an international award winning researcher and scientific author specialising in the field of planetary health, with a focus on food systems shifts and climate change mitigation.

Helen will deliver a talk on the environmental impact of food systems, with the focus on climate change, deforestation, nutrient pollution and wildlife loss. She will discuss the links between these impacts, and possible solutions to these issues. 

This talk will explore how climate change will increase wildlife loss, and show examples of progress, including examples of reforesting land currently used for animal agriculture in the UK.

Wildlife Summit full timetable

Sunday
2:00pm

Moving to a plant-based food system: What do the experts say?

A number of influential studies suggest we need to move to a plant-based food system to tackle climate change. We speak to representatives from Oxford University and Harvard on what we need to do and whether certain claims are exaggerated.

VGN Climate Summit full timetable