It’s this time of the year again when the world comes together to discuss how food system transformation can be leveraged to achieve the SDGs. After the UN General Assembly and the Food System Summit in September, local governments, scientists, national authorities, and civil society organisations are gearing up for the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact’s Global Forum in Barcelona in October and the Nutrition for Growth Summit in Tokyo in December. But this year, the topic of food is also making its way to the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP26) which will be held in Glasgow in November. Surprising, you think? Well, it shouldn’t be.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global food systems account for 21 – 37% of total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. They are also responsible for many socio-economic and health inequalities, environmental degradation, and of course the climate crisis. Traditionally, food systems haven’t been high on the agenda of climate conferences, despite reducing food waste and shifting to plant-rich diets being ranked among the most impactful solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (The Drawdown Review, 2020).
In the last 18 months, Rikolto has been involved in various coalitions led by Nourish Scotland, a Scottish non-profit focusing on food policy and practice, to increase the visibility of food at COP26. Below is an overview of some of these initiatives.