Plant-based dishes dominate COP26 menu

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

Plant-based dishes will dominate the menus at the upcoming COP26 event as the organisers look to send a sustainable message around the globe.

COP stands for Conference of the Parties under the 1992 UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). For more than 30 years, nations who joined COP are treaty-bound to “avoid dangerous climate change” and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

For its 26th summit, the climate conference will feature a “low-carbon” menu – which will include 95 per cent British food with 80 per cent of produce sourced locally from Scotland. 

Suppliers will include Edinburgh’s Mara Seaweed, which does not require fertiliser, freshwater or soil to grow, and Aberdeenshire farmers Benzies, which uses wind turbines to power the cool storage of its carrots and potatoes. 

Plant-based dishes dominate COP26 menu
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With this year’s menu focusing on more plants and less waste, delegates will be served dishes such as potato, leek, and rosemary chowder, spiced mushroom and onion burger, and winter squash lasagne. In addition, each item will have an estimated carbon footprint so guests can make “climate-friendly choices”.

However not every dish on the menu is vegan: it will also include braised turkey meatballs in tomato ragu, smoked salmon and fennel salad, and Scotch beef ramen.

COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma said that the choice of food served was a top priority. 

“It is exciting to see such innovation in the menus that will be on offer and to understand the thought and effort that has gone into making dishes both healthy, sustainable and suitable for different diets and requirements.” 

However,  Jennifer Molidor, senior food campaigner at the Center of Biological Diversity, thinks otherwise, saying that while it’s a huge improvement from past menus, continuing to serve beef at a climate conference remains an issue. 

“The mere offer of burgers is a problem, especially with as many as 25,000 people attending,” said Molidor.  “Beef has no place at a climate conference.”

The conference opens on October 31 with more than 120 leaders worldwide attending.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.


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