Nutrition at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is taking place from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow (UK). COP26 will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

UN Nutrition will partner with several actors to highlight the critical role of food and good nutrition in mitigating climate change and the need to embed nutrition in climate negotiations.

  • On Tuesday, 2nd November (17:00 ‒ 18:00 GMT, WHO Health Pavilion) UN Nutrition member WHO, is teaming up with EAT, Stanford University to organize a session on Achieving Healthy Diets from Sustainable Blue Food Systems in Small Island Developing States to share knowledge and innovative solutions for shifting to healthy, sustainable and resilient diets in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with particular attention to aquatic foods. Zitouni Ould-Dada, FAO Climate Deputy Director, will moderate the session on behalf of the UN Nutrition collective, highlighting how aquatic foods can contribute to both human and planetary health.
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  • On Saturday, 6th November (9:00  17:30 GMT, Glasgow Caledonian University) the Global Conference on Health & Climate Change will focus on climate justice in the context of a healthy and green recovery from COVID-19. The Conference is organized by WHO and the Global Climate and Health Alliance in close collaboration with the Glasgow Caledonian University and its Centre for Climate Justice, the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, the Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Wellcome Trust.
  • On Monday, 8th November (14:00 ‒ 18:00 GMT) the UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub will focus on healthier food systems for a healthier planet. The UN Nutrition Executive Secretary will intervene in Session 4: Broadening the view: landscape approaches to address the tensions between production and conservation (17:00 ‒ 17:50 GMT).
  • On Tuesday, 9th November, UN Nutrition members WFP and WHO and the Government of Switzerland, are organizing the hybrid event, entitled For tackling climate, environmental, nutrition and health challenges, we shall all meet at the table.  The event will take place at the WHO Health Pavilion from 11:15 to 12:15 GMT and will aim at raising awareness among negotiators on the crucial linkages between nutrition, health, food systems, and climate change and the OneHealth approach to tackle them.
    Prof. Jessica Fanzo from Johns Hopkins University will deliver a keynote address on the need for an urgent shift to sustainable healthy diets for climate, planet, and humanity, followed by a panel discussion with country representatives (including Switzerland, Guyana and Costa Rica) on how to put nutrition at the heart of climate negotiations. The event will close with a final call for action by H.R.H. Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan.
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  • In the afternoon (9th November, 15:30 ‒ 17:00 GMT, Nourish Scotland Pavilion), the UN Nutrition Executive Secretary will speak in a session, organized by Food Tank, Aleph Farms and Nourish Scotland, entitled A New Approach to Meat. Panelists will discuss what it takes to change the production of animal protein while maintaining farmers’ livelihoods and safeguarding food security and nutrition.
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  • On Wednesday, 10th November, the WWF Panda Pavilion will host a 2-part event on Diets, Climate and Nature: The role of what we eat in a 1.5o C future.

    Part 1 – Balancing nature restoration, biodiversity conservation and healthy diets for all
    (11:30 ‒ 12:30 GMT), organized by WWF, UN Nutrition, GAIN and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), will explore the need to balance efforts to restore nature to combat the climate crises and protect biodiversity, with the moral imperative to feed humanity healthy diets.
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    Part 2 – Mobilizing finance to address climate risk and restore biodiversity while ensuring healthy and sustainable diets for all (13:00 ‒ 14:00 GMT) is organized by WWF and FAIRR. More info and registration is available at:

Small-scale producers must be at the centre of climate change discussions, as they are greatly underserved by climate finance. At COP26, IFAD will be promoting the role of small-scale producers in climate change adaptation and mitigation and creating resilient food systems, hosting a series of events at its pavilion (Blue Zone D – Pavilion area 4A). Other UN agencies, such as WFP, will collaborate with IFAD in some of these events, including one on Addressing the triple burden of climate change, conflict and malnutrition to improve prospects for peace. 

Check out IFAD’s activities at COP26 here:

FAO will be at COP26 to reinforce its commitment to supporting countries in the climate negotiations, particularly through the implementation of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, by scaling up Nationally Determined Contribution commitments, enhancing action related to food and agriculture, ecosystems and biodiversity, and working with countries to access climate finance.

FAO will continue to advocate for and promote sustainable, efficient and resilient agri-food systems as part of the solution to the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.

Check out FAO’s activities at COP26 here:

WHO will have a Health Pavilion at COP26, which will host over 60 side events, including some with a nutrition focus. These events are a golden opportunity to advocate for placing health and equity at the center of the climate negotiations.

Check out WHO’s activities at COP26 here:

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