COP 26 ended with a disappointing agreement, just when the expectations of civil society, young people, indigenous peoples, and all those affected by the climate emergency were highest. For Slow Food, this far from being enough, given the scale of the emergency.
The agreement does not strive to achieve the most ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The agreement also watered down commitments on phasing out fossil fuels and failed to seriously provide support to countries hardest-hit by climate change.
Marta Messa, director of Slow Food Europe, comments: “We are dismayed by the lack of ambition that emerges from the contents of the agreement.” She adds: “In the context of UN decision making, it might be notable that an agreement was reached. But the content of the agreement is by far not enough given the level of emergency of the climate crisis. Delegations left Glasgow with the Earth still on track to blow past the threshold toward a future of escalating weather crises and irreversible damage to the natural world. Slow Food will continue to develop grassroots actions to tackle climate change, and to mobilize its network and citizens worldwide to pressure decision makers into immediate action, at local and global level”.
According to Shane Holland, executive director of Slow Food in the UK, “It is incredible the lack of focus on the second most emitting sector, the industrial food system. COP26 should have paved the way for the transition towards agro ecological food systems, where evidence shows that they keep carbon in the ground, support biodiversity, rebuild soil fertility and sustain yields over time, providing a basis for secure farm livelihoods and healthy diets for all. There can be no real transition towards sustainable food systems without a policy of financing agro-ecological systems that follows binding targets, which is completely missing from the COP26 final declaration”.
Jorrit Kiewik, executive director of Slow Food Youth Network, cannot hide his disappointment: “This COP was a meeting that was pivotal in my generation. But the so called leaders failed to lead us in the right direction. I’m deeply shocked by the lack of willpower decision makers have to make the world livable for current and future generations.”