COP26: Glasgow

The global United Nations climate change conference known as COP26 took place in Glasgow in November. What happened and where do we go from here? 

What was agreed at COP26?

Some progress was made: 

More than 100 nations pledged to end deforestation by 2030

28 countries signed up to the new forests, agriculture, and commodity trade ‘road map of action’

45 governments will pledged urgent action and investment to protect nature and shift to more sustainable ways of farming

Over 100 countries pledged to reduce their methane emissions by 30% by 2030

But there is more to be done

The target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels is 'on life support' and world leaders have shied away from mobilising the finance needed to support this transition for the global south.

It's clear that urgent action and further ambition are needed from the UK and other world leaders as we move on from COP26.

What do we want to see?

So far, the Government has fallen far short of what is needed to help us tackle climate change and limit global warming to 1.5°C. Here's what we're calling for:

The Government must show leadership and champion a transition to a food and farming system that delivers healthy and sustainable diets, resilient livelihoods and meets climate and nature goals.

Farmers are part of the solution and must be supported to transition to agroecology – sustainable farming that works with nature.

Biodiversity decline and climate change must be tackled together with a key focus on soil health.

Nature-based solutions are not a substitute for the rapid phase out of fossil fuels. We mustn’t delay urgent action to decarbonize our economies.

You too can be part of the solution

What we really need now is crucial funding to drive a relentless effort to reach policy makers with these compelling solutions. Can you act now and donate £20 to secure the right decisions for UK food and farming policy?


The solution to climate change is under our feet

Soils store more carbon than the atmosphere and all of the world’s plants and forests combined, with nearly 10 billion tonnes of carbon stored in UK soils alone!

Our food and farming system can help resolve the climate, nature, and health crises, but only if we work with nature, not against it.

Nature-friendly ways of farming, like organic:

• Help mitigate climate change - healthy soils store more carbon and help prevent flooding and droughts
• Work in balance with nature and wildlife - helping to build a resilient food system
• Put communities and farmers in the driving seat - farming is adapted to suit the local area, helping it thrive

What is the Soil Association doing to make a difference?

We’re putting farmers in the driving seat through our Innovative Farmers programme. We work with farmers on the ground to develop lasting solutions for a more resilient farming future.

We’re showing what’s possible with our Food for Life programme. We work with schools, hospitals, universities and caterers to serve over 2 million healthy, nutritious meals a day, reconnecting people with where their food comes from.

We’ve helped develop the National Food Strategy, which supports nature-friendly farming as well as a drive towards healthier more sustainable food in schools and hospitals.

We’re part of The Climate Coalition and support The Time Is Now declaration calling for nature-based solutions to help combat climate change.

We’re campaigning for an end to deforestation in UK supply chains. We need to move from industrial farming that feeds animals imported soya crops, to a nature-friendly farming future.

We’re a partner of the Glasgow Food and Climate declaration. The declaration was presented at COP26 and places sustainable, local food systems at the heart of the response to the climate crisis.

Citizen action in Glasgow and Bristol

We took part in the Global Climate Justice march in Glasgow and Bristol, showing our support for sustainable food and farming as a solution to the climate crisis.

Thanks to everyone who joined us, helping send a message to world leaders who were gathered at the summit.

Make a Pledge for our Planet

The movement towards a world with good health, in balance with nature and a safe climate is growing and you can be a part of it. Whether you’re already doing some great things, or aren’t sure where to start, visit our hub to make your pledge for a better future today.