put food on the menu at COP26!

11th Mar 21 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor, Head of Policy

Food systems are a vital ingredient in solving the climate crisis.

Later this year, the next major climate negotiations, COP26, will be hosted in Glasgow and right now, diplomats and politicians are deciding on what will be discussed.

Changing the way we eat and how much food we waste are two of the single biggest actions governments can take to respond to the climate crisis. In fact, even if every other sector of the economy decarbonised, without addressing the climate damage caused by the food system, we can’t meet important climate goals. Meanwhile, changing the way we grow food and shifting to more regenerative production systems can help safeguard ecosystems and reduce carbon emissions, while producing healthy food. 

Despite this, how we produce and consume food isn’t even on the agenda for COP26!

Alok Sharma MP is president of COP26, leading the UK government’s diplomatic efforts to make the negotiations a success. He could raise food issues up the climate agenda and make sure it’s addressed at the meeting.

This week, over 30 organisations and individuals, including Feedback, Compassion in World Farming, RSPB and the Soil Association have written to Alok Sharma, asking him to put food systems on the table in his diplomatic efforts. Read the joint letter here

The letter calls for Alok Sharma to drive a change in policy and investment by bringing a focus on food systems. It also calls on him to make sure time and space is given to high-level discussions about food systems and climate policy.

Meanwhile, over 57,000 people have joined in, telling the COP26 team that food must be part of the climate effort to prevent dangerous global warming and ensure everyone has fair access to healthy food. You can add your voice by tweeting at Alok Sharma, or sharing the joint letter above.

The UK Government is already showing leadership on a joined up approach to food policy with its national food strategy for England, and by its commitment in the current NDC to healthy diets supported by a sustainable food system. Meanwhile, the Scottish Government is an early signatory to the Glasgow Declaration on food and climate, a commitment by subnational governments to adopt and implement integrated food policies to tackle climate change. Now, hosting COP26, the UK has an opportunity to show global leadership on the transition to sustainable food systems. 

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