Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash


September 8, 2021

Food@COP – a youth-led initiative for climate-friendly catering at COP26

Food@COP is a movement led by a collection of young people from across the globe who believe that climate-friendly negotiations must take place over climate-friendly meals. The campaign calls for the UN to serve plant-based food at its COP climate events. To kick things off, they are directing the campaign at the organisers of the next conference: COP26 which takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

With this campaign, Food@COP seeks to rectify the astonishing absence of climate-friendly food at events focused on climate policy. Designing a menu focused on holistic sustainability – that takes resource use, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and community impacts into account – will set a powerful precedent for the world: allowing climate-conscious attendees to align their plates with their principles, and put their money where their mouth is in the international efforts to combat the climate crisis.

During COP25, in Madrid in 2019, a group of likeminded attendees observed a disillusioning contrast between the vision of the event and the food that was served. Catering at the previous year’s COP alone had the potential to contribute greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 3,000 people flying across the world from New York to Katowice. Coming together under the conviction that the food served at these events must ‘walk the talk’, Food@COP was born.

Since its inception, Food@COP has grown into a coalition of more than 200 organisations, individuals, institutions, and networks. Through outreach, virtual events, international social media campaigns, and conversations with primary stakeholders, the campaign is creating a critical space for dialogue surrounding food-systems reform and the role of young people. 

Food@COP is working on more international campaigns in order to continue building its audience and support network. They aim to organise more virtual dialogues with the myriad voices in the food-systems sphere that usually go unheard: from farmers, Indigenous peoples, and frontline communities impacted by animal agriculture to businesses and research institutions in the field. Increased media coverage is another critical goal to bring more attention to climate-friendly food. They also hope to host a side event or Green Zone booth at the next COP. Meanwhile, the petition continues to grow, with more than 3,400 signatures so far. 

If you’d like to join the Food@COP team, don’t hesitate to reach out.

As an organisation or company, you can join 106 other organisations and networks from across the globe and endorse the campaign here.

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