World leaders and diverse stakeholders came together at COP28 in the UAE to negotiate and discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the planet today. The SDG2 Advocacy Hub was on the ground advocating to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture through a number of initiatives, including Climate Conscious Catering, increasing the consumption of beans, and moving the needle on key policy asks for SDG2.

Through the Good Food for All Narrative and global campaigns Beans is How and Hungry for Action, supported by the Chefs’ Manifesto network, the SDG2 Advocacy Hub convened actors and held dialogues at COP28. A snapshot of our contributions below:

Pushing to accelerate SDG2 progress and end the Global Food Crisis

With many topics on the table across for COP28 the SDG2 Advocacy Hub outlined the areas of priority in a Policy Brief that detailed  “A 4-point Good Food For All Agenda for COP28: Agriculture, food security, and nutrition must be at the heart of climate negotiations”. See the full Policy Brief here.

Analysis on the outcomes of COP28 is ongoing and we will continue to see the impact into the new year and beyond. There were obvious wins, including agreement on a Loss and Damage Fund, and the COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action, among other signs of progress. For a full analysis of COP28 negotiations see a dedicated article by the SDG2 Advocacy Hub here.

As part of the COP28 programme, the SDG2 Advocacy Hub collaborated on opportunities to raise visibility on the global food crisis and the need for food systems transformation to ensure good food for all. Recognizing the multiple crises the world is facing, and knowing the urgency to act on the global food crisis and the linkages with climate, the SDG2 Advocacy Hub joined forces with partners such as Save the Children which hosted an event on the effects of the climate crisis on child survival.

Championing Climate Conscious Catering and Sustainable Hospitality

For the first time ever at a COP, the food served to attendees aimed to showcase 1.5C aligned menu options with food items that consciously measured and weighed the climate-impacts, whilst combining affordability, taste and flavour. With the ambition to “walk the talk”, the COP28 Presidency, with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, along with the Chefs’ Manifesto, and many partners, succeeded in showcasing climate conscious catering. 

While work to achieve this was ongoing throughout 2023, the COP28 program highlighted the experience, lessons learned, best practices and guidance for future large scale catering events at “The Food We Ate at COP” session held on the thematic Food, Agriculture and Water Day. The Food4Climate Pavilion also featured work with ProVeg International, YOUNGO Food and other partners, focusing on the plant-based commitment and youth passion for climate-aligned catering, bringing in voices from Chefs’ Manifesto and the SDG2 Advocacy Hub. 

Initiatives on site aimed to tell the story of sustainable food and create a user experience. One example collaboration includes the Alkebulan African Dining Hall at Expo City Dubai, which held a roundtable discussion on the role of hospitality in driving positive sustainable economic and environmental change. Voices around the table noted the huge potential of the hospitality industry in driving change and influencing food systems transformation to impact the Sustainable Development Goals.

Diversifying Proteins and Sustainable Diets for People and Planet

The Beans is How Campaign marked its one year  milestone at COP28, by gathering voices across production, supply, retail, hospitality and more, and framing next steps through the Beans is How Theory of Change. With a special event on “Accelerating climate adaptation through championing Beans in Africa” emphasis was  on improving bean production and consumption in Africa to fight climate change, hunger and malnutrition. Watch the event here. On the sidelines, Beans is How and the Global Pulse Confederation organized a dynamic debate on “What will drive global pulses consumption, supply or demand?” pushing audiences to think about the complementary actions needed. 

Beans is How brought together many partners and voices, including AGRA, PABRA, CGIAR, Chefs’ Manifesto, Global Pulse Confederation, Rockefeller Foundation, School Meals Coalition, Unilever, world renowned chefs, and many more. 

Working with the Chefs’ Manifesto Food Champions, the SDG2 Advocacy Hub leveraged key opportunities to advocate for beans, diversified crops and healthy diets from multiple perspectives looking across health and climate issues and showcasing exciting and tasty menus and foods. Chef Conor and Chef Anahita were on site to cook up dishes that inspired and encouraged new impactful ways of sourcing, cooking and tasting.

The sessions the SDG2 Advocacy Hub organized and contributed to:

What we Ate at COP28- Walking the Talk

As part of the work to ensure that the food served at COP was representative of sustainable food systems, aligned with a 1.5C menu which is healthy for people and the planet, the event shared on the catering work at COP this year. Organized by the COP28 Presidency, the Ministry for Climate Change and Environment, Event Management and Catering Team, the Chefs’ Manifesto, and supporting partners.

Sustainable Food Systems in Action

Organizers ProVeg International, Food@COP, YOUNGO Food, and Agriculture Working Group, and invited guest Paul Newnham on behalf of the the SDG2 Advocacy Hub and Chefs’ Manifesto, shared aspects of the journey and engagement to climate-conscious catering at COP28, focusing on the plant-based commitment and youth passion for climate-aligned catering.

Press Conference – Food, Water and Nature

A GZ press conference on food highlighted the urgent need for transformative action, emphasizing the vulnerability of food systems to climate change. Paul Newnham was invited for remarks and an interview, to galvanize global attention towards reshaping food systems and protecting the natural environment to meet the challenges posed by climate change.

The Connection between Food Waste and Climate Change and the Need and Opportunities for Change

Organized by the University of Penn, at the Higher Education Pavilion, Paul Newnham joined Sara Roversi, Dani Nierenberg- FoodTank, and Craig Hanson- the World Resources Institute to discuss food waste and climate, looking towards opportunities and solutions. 

Food Forever Reception

On the evening of Food, Agriculture and Water day, Chefs’ Manifesto together with Kew Gardens, CROP TRUST, ICBA, UNFCCC Resilience Frontiers, and CGIAR brought together participants across sectors to shine a light on the diversity of foods we could be eating through tasting dishes based on diverse crops healthy for people and planet. 

Child Survival at the Centre of the Climate Crisis

Organized by Save the Children International, the event took a deep dive into the changing landscape and approach of health programming to respond to the catastrophic effects of the climate crisis on child survival. Paul Newnham, Executive Director of the SDG2 Advocacy Hub joined the panel. 

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