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Cop26 menu focuses on plant-based dishes with 80% Scottish food

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Plant-based dishes will dominate the menu at the Cop26 climate conference, where 80% of the food will be from Scotland.

The low-carbon menu includes 95% British food, especially locally sourced Scottish produce, and each menu item has an estimate of its carbon footprint, “helping attendees make climate-friendly choices”.

Delegates will be served dishes such as potato, leek and rosemary chowder, smoked salmon and “a spiced mushroom and onion burger served with a vegan tomato mayo, slaw and shoots”.

For almost three decades, world governments have met nearly every year to forge a global response to the climate emergency. Under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), every country on Earth is treaty-bound to “avoid dangerous climate change”, and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally in an equitable way.

Cop stands for conference of the parties under the UNFCCC. This year is the 26th iteration, postponed by a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to be hosted by the UK in Glasgow.

The conference will officially open on 31 October, and more than 120 world leaders will gather in the first few days. They will then depart, leaving the complex negotiations to their representatives, mainly environment ministers or similarly senior officials. About 25,000 people are expected to attend the conference in total. The talks are scheduled to end at 6pm on Friday 12 November.

Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent

Caterers are using sustainable suppliers including Edinburgh’s Mara Seaweed, which is abundant, entirely sustainable and does not require fertiliser, fresh water or soil to grow, and carrots and potatoes from Benzies, which uses wind turbines to power their cool storage, biomass to provide heating and recycles the water used.

Hot drinks will be served in reusable cups that can be washed 1,000 times, which organisers say will save 250,000 single-use cups.

The Cop26 president-designate, Alok Sharma, said the choice of food served was important.

He said: “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.”

Sample menu

  • Winter squash lasagne (0.7kg CO2 equivalent emissions) – celeriac, glazed root vegetables and winter squash, with a vegan cheddar.

  • Organic kale and seasonal vegetable pasta (0.3kg CO2 ee) – spelt fusilli, field mushrooms, kale and seasonal vegetables.

  • Braised turkey meatballs (0.9kg CO2 ee) – with organic spelt penne pasta in a tomato ragu.

  • Organic spelt wholegrain penne pasta (0.2kg CO2 ee) – with a tomato ragu, kale, pesto and oatmeal crumble.

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