Who We Are
The Food@COP campaign is a collection of youth from across the globe who believe that climate-friendly negotiations must take place over climate-friendly meals – calling for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) to serve plant-based food at its events. To start with, we are directing our campaign at the organisers of the next conference: COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.
With this strong aim, we seek to rectify the confounding absence of climate-friendly food at events focused on climate policy. Designing a menu focused on holistic sustainability – including resource-use, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and community impacts – will set a powerful precedent for the world: allowing climate-conscious attendees to align plates with principle and symbolising the earnestness of international efforts to combat the climate crisis.
During COP25, in Madrid in 2019, a group of like-minded attendees observed a disillusioning contrast between the vision of the event and the food they were 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 (Center for Biological Diversity, 2018).
Representing YOUNGO, the Food and Climate Alliance, and other NGOs working to mitigate the climate crisis, these individuals were acutely aware of food’s critical role in ensuring a better future. Coming together under the conviction that the food must ‘walk the talk’, Food@COP was born.
The Story So Far
Since its fruition, Food@COP has grown into a coalition of over 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 youth.
Our #FoodForOurFuture video campaign in 2020 invited youth from around the world to contribute videos in their native languages, articulating their support for our campaign. The response was overwhelming, with 55 youth voices spanning 26 countries.
Our first webinar, The Food Forum, presented a panel of inspiring youth leaders in the climate and food systems spheres to commemorate World Food Day. At London Climate Action Week, we had the honour of featuring Right Livelihood Laureate Lottie Cunningham Wren. Lottie shared her inspiring story as an environmentalist and Indigenous rights activist in Nicaragua, expressing deep concerns about the meat industry’s role in displacing Indigenous communities and damaging the local environment.
For the Future
As we look ahead, Food@COP is working on more international campaigns to continue building our audience and support. We aim to organise more virtual dialogues with the myriad voices in food systems spheres that are waiting to be heard: from farmers, Indigenous peoples, and frontline communities impacted by animal agriculture, to businesses and research institutions in the field. Seeking increased media placement is another critical goal to bring more attention to climate-friendly food. In the future, we even hope to host a side event, or Green Zone booth, with a host of allies at the next COP!
Meanwhile, our petition continues to grow, with nearly 3,400 signatures supporting our ask. If you share in our vision, add your name:
If you want to do more, don’t hesitate to reach out and volunteer with us!
Join 106 organisations and networks from across the globe and endorse the campaign here: Organisation Endorsement
To keep up with Food@COP campaigns, events, and other content, visit our social media pages:
Finally, for information and evidence on why we demand plant-based catering, refer our social media or the following documents: