Food Briefing December 2021 – COP26 Round-up

The COP26 climate summit in Glasgow passed through with barely a mention of food and agriculture, a fact which surprised many given that food contributes up to one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions. We hope the seeds are being sown for future action, while the policymakers debate and prevaricate about the action they are able or willing to take, or drill down into the metrics they need to measure. Francesca Carnibella talks on the Food Research Collaboration website about the four corners of the food/climate puzzle which are required to move forwards. Read more.

Despite this absence of action, big players in the corporate food world were found to be hiding in plain sight at Glasgow, a quick glance would note that Sainsburys and Unilever were sponsors of the event. These two organisations were amongst the 11 COP26 corporate sponsors whose revenue generated £260 billion in 2020 while collectively pumping out 375 million tonnes of carbon. This contradiction sits alongside the fact that lobbying is allowed at COP26, and at least 75 representatives from big food made their way into the official delegation.

The reasons why food didn’t feature are inherently political, however the need for action is overwhelming. This COP26 debate feature Dr Tara Garnett from Oxford University digs into the reasons why climate needs to be front and centre, and uncovers some of the complexity of the food system at the same time. Pour a (ethically sourced, slave free) hot chocolate and dive in. Watch here.

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