Over the weekend, the gov.uk website shared details of the dishes delegates will be tasting, with the menus being described as “with a strong focus on sustainability”.
In total, 95% of the dishes will come from the UK. This, the website says, “will put sustainability at the heart of summit catering, reducing emissions and promoting environmentally friendly food production.”
The statement added that Cop26 “will set an example for other large-scale international events, in terms of food supply, by taking a number of steps to ensure a sustainable approach.”
These measures include using the same ingredients in various dishes, to minimize food waste, using reusable cups and ensuring that suppliers “set high standards for sustainable food production”.
The dishes on the menus are printed with an indication of their environmental impact, along with a list of their carbon dioxide equivalent – in this case, a number used to demonstrate the collective greenhouse gases produced by the dish. For example, a carrot and thyme soup produces 0.1 kg of CO2e, while a grated chicken salad produces 0.5 kg of CO2e. Efforts have also been made to reduce the carbon footprint of the dishes. The Scottish beef burger that must be served contains 3.3 kg of CO2e, but the menu proclaims: “Our standard burger would have produced 5.1 kg of CO2e. By reducing the meat content, we reduced the carbon footprint by 1.8 kg CO2e.
Other dishes include potato, leek and rosemary chowder, winter squash lasagna, braised turkey meatballs, and tempura broccoli with fries. Whole organic spelled pasta served with a tomato stew, kale, pesto and oat crumble is another.
Cop26 President-designate Alok Sharma said of the food: “There will be a huge amount of work to do at Cop26, with many hours of negotiations and long days, so the choice of food. that we serve our visiting delegations, our staff and all of our volunteers, is very important.
“It is fascinating to see such innovation in the menus that will be offered and to understand the thinking and efforts made to prepare dishes that are at the same time healthy, sustainable and adapted to different diets and requirements.
“We look forward to giving our international visitors a taste of the diverse cuisine the UK has to offer. “
Cop26 marks the 26th time that the United Nations has held its global climate change conference, known as the COP. This time the UK is hosting the conference. It is seen as a vital chance for world leaders to agree on a way to tackle the planet’s significant environmental challenges.
Among the 190 participants will be the Queen, Pope Francis, US President Joe Biden, Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will also be present. Mr Johnson said ahead of the summit: “Securing a better future for our children and future generations requires countries to take urgent action at home and abroad to turn the tide of climate change.
“It is with ambition, courage and collaboration as we approach the crucial COP26 summit in the UK that we can seize this moment together, so that we can recover cleaner, rebuild greener and restore our planet.”
Lord Deben, the chairman of the UK Climate Change Committee, said the world’s people “will never forgive” their leaders if nothing important is achieved during the conference.