During the formal meeting of the UNFCCC parties, the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Madrid in 2019 (nicknamedCOP25), various individuals from YOUNGO, the Food and Climate Alliance, and different NGOs concerned about theclimate impact of food served at the conference came together in hopes to align sustainability values with the food served at future events. Our campaign is comprised of organisations, individuals, institutions, and networks that believe the food served at climate conferences should reflect the urgency of the crisis. The global food system contributes massively to climate change, and the food on the menu at these events needs to reflect this reality. One aspect of planning COP that has not received enough care and attention is the catering. Since catering decisions involve a series of choices, why not make the choices that minimise GHGs, preserve natural resources, and optimise our health the easiest options for participants to choose? It is certainly doable, as there were notable improvements in the offerings in Madrid compared to Katowice. We recognise and value past work to ‘green’ COP food and aim to build on past successes to ensure future implementation of thoughtful food sourcing. Plant-based foods are overwhelmingly recognised as those with the lowest impacts. It is important that COP ‘walks the talk’ if the UNFCCC, host countries, and attendees are concerned about the future of the planet and solving the climate crisis. Offering plant-based foods sets a better precedent for individual and group behaviour that can have substantial
ripple effects. It is also a symbolic indicator that we are taking the crisis seriously. Everything from the location of food outlets, to the description of menu items, to pricing needs to be intentional and consistent so that the easiest choices to
make are also the most climate friendly.