COP26 event on how young people can fix the global food system

  • The global food system directly affects the climate, waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Act4Food Act4Change event at COP26 on November 7th will discuss its impact.
  • Young people have the power and more at stake and must act, say experts.

The global food system plays a major role in the current health, climate, biodiversity and human rights crises. It contributes to more than one third of greenhouse gas emissions, and about a third of all food produced is wasted while many people around the world cannot afford healthy and nutritious meals.

photo of Sophie Healy-Thow in white shirt

Sophie Healy-Thow.

Courtesy of Act4Food and Act4Change.

“The one thing we all have in common, wherever we live and however wealthy we are, is food”, Sophie healy-thow, coordinator of the global youth campaign for Act4Food Act4Change, a youth-led initiative that strives to positively change the global food system, Insider said. “We all play a vital role in the food system as consumers, and if we want a future where people and the planet are healthy, we must start to care more about creating more sustainable food systems.”

Young leaders from around the world will come together to discuss the valuable role they play in transforming global food systems at United Nations Climate Change Conference United Kingdom 2021 (COP26) in Glasgow on November 7. The event, titled “Act4Food Act4Change: Calling on all young people to be agents of change in the transformation of food systems, will be hosted by Dara karakolis, a young leader of Act4Food Act4Change of Canada and world leader of youth in The Food Foundation, who is also a session partner with WWF.

“We want to make sure that food and nutrition are firmly on the agenda of all future COP and climate events,” said Healy-Thow. “Food systems are a huge contributor to climate change, while being central to the well-being of society and to successful economic development. “

Some of the issues the group hopes to highlight include how the food system is structured so that it often costs more to cook healthy food than to buy unhealthy fast food and that local and indigenous knowledge is creating. a more inclusive and sustainable system. Single-use plastics, advertising junk food to children and how small-scale food producers are affected by local governments, taxes and climate change are other issues on the agenda.

Healy-Thow encourages everyone to sign the Act4Food commitment to show their commitment to transforming the food system. Nearly 105,000 pledges have been made to date. “It is a commitment to demand urgent large-scale action from ourselves and others, especially from government and business decision-makers,” she said.

People aged 15 to 24 represented 16% of the world’s population in 2019, according to the UN. With so many, Healy-Thow said young people have the power to change the food system – and that they have more at stake because they will be around longer than today’s seniors.

People aged 30 and under are invited to vote for their best Actions4Change, including banning single-use plastic packaging, ensuring that everyone can afford healthy and nutritious meals, and protecting food production from political disruption and the impact of climate change. Actions are personal commitments, Healy-Thow said, but also demands for those in power to take action.

Young people can also get involved by registering to become Act4Food Act4Change Youth advocate.

“We have seen the power that young people have in the climate action movement,” she said. “We need to have the same energy for food systems. We need change and we can be the people who create that change before it’s too late. Climate action cannot happen without action on systems food and food systems cannot change without climate action. “

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