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Monday, November 29, 2021

Behind the scenes at COP26

In this blog, ProVeg will take you on a behind the scenes tour of COP26. Find out what the ProVeg team got up to, and how you can tackle the climate crisis with your diet.

Why was COP26 even important?

It was make or break for the Paris Climate Accord. In 2015, world leaders committed to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C. Each nation agreed to set its own reduction targets, and to present their progress every five years. Thus, Glasgow was the first true test of whether Paris was succeeding.

After Paris 2015, the US pulled out of the agreement – only recently rejoining under Joe Biden. On top of that, developed nations have only provided 80% of the first pool of money ($100bn) they agreed to provide developing countries for clean energy transitions. The mood music going into the conference was bleak. But as always, ProVeg went in with energy and optimism. ProVeg was determined to get the blue zone talking about food system reform.

What’s the blue zone and how did we get in?

ProVeg achieved “Permanent Observer” status with the UNFCCC last year. That entitles ProVeg to tickets for all future COP summits – starting with COP26 in Glasgow. COP summits have two sections: the green zone is on a separate campus, and is a space for the public to congregate and protest. The blue zone is where 25,000 delegates from around the world congregate, representing governments, NGOs, and industries. But as an NGO, we don’t get access to the actual negotiation rooms. 

So how did ProVeg make an impact? 

ProVeg had a three-pronged strategy to get food system reform on the COP26 agenda:

  1. Get media coverage – through interviews, press conferences, and panel talks.
  2. Meet with government delegates to raise awareness.
  3. Build partnerships with other NGOs to strengthen coalitions.

Thanks to tireless work by the ProVeg team throughout the two-week summit, they successfully raised awareness of the need for urgent food system reform. ProVeg spoke with international media including CNBC, Deutsche Welle, and BBC, about the links between animal agriculture and dangerous emissions. They presented at events across the blue and green zones, sparking great debates and questions among attendees. And ProVeg delivered a petition with over 70,000 signatures to world leaders, calling for urgent action. The great news? We’re gaining momentum.

What can you do?

Take the Diet Change Not Climate Change pledge! By embracing a plant-rich lifestyle, you can make a massive difference to the future of our planet – and reduce your food related emissions by 50%! 

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