The aim is to put the climate crisis under the spotlight and to secure progress towards tackling a global threat.

However, the arrival of world leaders and environmental campaigners to the United Nation’s conference COP26 could actually end up altering the way Glaswegians eat. 

The gathering, which is the largest summit ever held in the UK, will see world leaders along with 90,000 environmental campaigners and scientists descend on the city, many with high expectations of finding ethically sourced and sustainable food to keep them going through the 11-day event. 

As a result, demand is expected to soar in the city for hyper-local, high-welfare and ethical food which meets the delegates’ vision for less damaging manner of food production. 

At the same time, the climate change conference will coincide with the launch of a major city-wide food plan, designed to help Glasgow become carbon neutral by 2030. 

The timing of the unveiling of Glasgow’s City Food Plan, the first plan of its kind in Scotland – just as delegates descend for COP26 – has raised expectations that it will include highly ambitious ideas for feeding the city in the future. 

That could include visionary concepts, such as the creation of allotments on former municipal golf courses, rooftops, cemeteries, hospitals, schools and the grounds of historic buildings. 

Those have all been mooted in Glasgow Food Growing Strategy’s draft paper which looks at how the city can produce a more diverse range of produce to meet diet trends and climate pressure.

It is set to end its public consultation next month, just as Glasgow’s City Food Plan enters its own consultation period and coinciding with preparations for COP26 in November. 

Between April and June citizens, communities, businesses and organisations in Glasgow, including those who work in the food industry, will be invited to give their views on the draft City Food Plan based on their knowledge of what works and what more is needed to improve the city’s food system. 

Then, from June until August the Plan will be reviewed according to comments received before being formally launched between September and November, when COP26 begins.

The Plan’s ambitions chime with the ethos of the climate activists and campaigners from around the globe who are expected to anchor themselves on the River Clyde at the Scottish Event Campus in coracles, canoes and yachts in anticipation for the arrival of young climate activist Greta Thunberg. 

Food production is a key focus for environmental campaigners: it contributes 20-30 per cent of the carbon emissions that drive climate change though production, processing, storage, transportation and disposal.

However, the Glasgow delegates will find a number of grassroots food initiatives are already under way.

They include three market gardens which supply local restaurants and deliver hundreds of organic veg boxes each week, community orchards and social enterprise supermarket, Locavore, which is set to expand into the city centre, helping more money spent there to stay in the local economy

There are also currently 96 community gardens and growing spaces root across the city along with 32 allotment sites while start-up funding is supporting the local food production. 

The city is also recognised for its high number of vegan restaurants. 

But while Glasgow’s restaurants are celebrated there remains diet and poverty-related food problems, a lack of growing space, and a disjointed approach to delivering more ethically-sourced and environmentally-friendly food which has led to well-meaning initiatives and schemes being implemented separately. 

The City Food Plan is expected to pull all the threads together – including the results of the Glasgow’s Food Growing Strategy consultation – to create a visionary approach to tackling the city’s relationship with food for the first time. 

“There are lots of enthusiastic and innovative people and projects working on food across the city who would benefit from a more coordinated approach to the issues in our food system,” said Abi Mordin of the Glasgow Community Food Network. 

“We want to involve as many of Glasgow’s citizens and businesses in shaping our City Food Plan and in making it happen. We are very excited about it and delighted that Glasgow is taking the initiative ahead of any other Scottish city. 

“We now have a proper chance to change Glasgow’s food culture for the better, and the imminent arrival of COP26 can only help give it more impetus.”