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Counting down to COP26 and the importance of leadership on climate change

leadership on climate change
With only 12 days to go until COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, our CEO Stefano Agostini writes about the importance of the event in Glasgow.

Hosted by the UK, COP26 is happening in Glasgow between 1st – 12th November this year and represents perhaps one of the most important gatherings this decade as the world charts a course to tackling climate change. It is the place where ambition to limit warming to 1.5 degrees must be set, new commitments made, existing ones strengthened, and clear plans for action detailed. Political world leaders, businesses, academics, civil society and young people will gather in Glasgow in a few weeks' time to discuss the work which needs to be done across all aspects of society.

The COP, or Conference of Parties, happens every year but this one is particularly significant as it must determine concrete plans to keep to the promise made at COP21 in Paris in 2015; to limit the warming of the planet by no more than 1.5 degrees. At the same time, this COP comes after being delayed for a year due to the pandemic, as we are already feeling and witnessing the impacts of a changing climate and as scientists tell us we have a decade to avoid irreversible tipping points that would be devastating for people and nature. Climate change poses one of the greatest risks to society and to our business. Every one of us has a role to play in reducing our impact, fostering innovation and collaboration and being part of the solution. COP26 will showcase and drive the momentum for increased ambition and action.


Our role in tackling climate change

At Nestlé, we are proud to have a climate ambition that is proportionate with the scale of the problem. We will halve our emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 at the latest. We have a detailed plan to get there involving igniting a major shift towards regenerative agricultural practices to transform farming systems from nature-depleting and carbon releasing, to nature-enhancing and carbon-storing.

We will transform our product portfolio and packaging towards more plant-based products and fully reusable and recyclable packaging. We are also ensuring all our operations and logistics are using renewable energy. 

Another key part of our climate roadmap is to use our voice and our reach to help galvanise action and that’s why we’re proud that Nestlé is taking part in COP26 in a number of different ways. We’ll have some of our colleagues speaking at different sessions to be part of the debate and focused on building collaborative solutions and exchanging knowledge.

We’ll also be supporting some key events and showcasing the role of our brands in tackling climate change. We’ll invite attendees to grab a cup of Nespresso coffee at the Sustainable Innovation Forum – using coffee as a great conversation starter as well as the role it can play in supporting natural climate solutions. We’ll also be supporting the Extreme Hangout in partnership with One Young World, giving youth a voice and a platform in the climate debate.

With just a couple of weeks to go, there is much to be done and the scale and pace of change needed can be daunting, but we cannot let that hold us all back. At Nestlé, we are proud of the work we are doing so far, are looking forward to what is ahead and are pleased to be taking part in this important event.  This is a significant moment in time, one I hope we as a society can all look back on with pride knowing we set out the necessary steps to tackle climate change and protect people and planet. All eyes will be on Glasgow…….. #TogetherForOurPlanet