Balinese Rice Terraces

Questions and Answers

What is the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration all about?

In November 2021, COP26 in Glasgow will face the monumental task of bridging the gap between countries’ current climate commitments and the significant transformation needed to tackle the climate and nature emergencies. The momentum is growing to link food, nature and climate at a number of key events this year including the first UN Food Systems Summit, making COP26 a unique opportunity to bring food systems reform at the forefront of the climate debate.


Building on this momentum, the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration unites the most forward-thinking sub-national and local authorities with a pledge to accelerate the development of integrated food policies and a call on national governments to act. 


The Declaration builds on previous work by the World Urban Forum Medellin, the Milan Urban

Food Policy Pact, the C40 and others to bringing food systems transformation to COP26 as an integrated solution to the climate emergency with co-benefits for biodiversity, ecosystem regeneration, circularity, access to sustainable and healthy diets for all, and the creation of

resilient livelihoods for farm and food workers.


Why do we need a food systems approach to climate change?

With food systems currently account for ⅓ of global GHG emissions it is becoming clear that we cannot meet Paris Agreement without addressing food systems. Yet food touches on many different policy areas and this often leads to policy contradictions and friction.  Unless all food systems’ impacts are considered together, climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies associated with food production and consumption are likely to be inefficient.


A food systems approach considers the range of actors and underlying socio-cultural, economic, biophysical, and institutional factors that shape our food systems and makes it easier to develop coherent policies, address tensions, and deliver the food systems transformation needed to tackle urgent environmental and nutritional challenges.

Why integrated food policies?

Integrated food policies reflect a food systems approach where actions are aligned horizontally across policy areas, and vertically between different levels of governance. ​In most countries, responsibility for food systems is split horizontally across several ministries, with agriculture, trade and industry, health, labour, and environment departments typically setting agendas based on different priorities and conflicting objectives. There are also important inconsistencies vertically between governance levels. Limited international and national government recognition, mandate, and support for city and regional food system policies and partnerships fails to incentivize the leading sustainable food systems innovation that occur at the local level. 


Integrated food policies can correct these oversights through multi-actor and multi-level

governance mechanisms and by creating mechanisms for the cross-sectoral work, inclusive

priority setting that ensures a just transition in food, and multi-level exchange of best practice

and evaluation tools across governance levels, which are generally lacking.


Why focus on local and sub-national actors?

Cities, regions, and sub-national states are leading the way in pioneering integrated food policies and strategies to drive positive food system change at a local and regional level, where the majority of sustainable food system innovation is occurring. At the same time, limited international and national government recognition, mandate and support for sub-national food system policies and partnerships hamper or fails to incentivize effective scaling and extension of this vital action. This declaration by sub-national actors is designed to amplify their voices in global conversations on food and climate, nature and health, where to date they have had a limited input. Read more in the accompanying document to the Declaration.

Who can sign the Glasgow Declaration?

The Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration is open to signatures from subnational, regional, local and indigenous governments of all sizes across the world. National governments are encouraged to endorse the Declaration and its call to action! Non-governmental, private sector and civil society organisations, networks and associations are welcomed to join as partners and supporters. 

If you are a sub-national, local or national government official, you can sign the Glasgow Declaration here.

If you wish to join as a partner or supporter, please get in touch at


Why sign the Declaration?

Governments signing the Glasgow Declaration renew their commitment to take a food system approach to the climate emergency and continue to work on adopting and implementing sustainable integrated food policies. In doing so, signatories also add their voice behind the call to action targeted at national and international policy-makers at COP26.

How was the Glasgow Declaration text drafted?

In March 2020, IPES-Food and Nourish Scotland convened a broad coalition of the core partners, to collectively draft a Declaration and kick-off a process aimed at moving local actors and integrated food policies to center stage at COP26. The Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration was drafted in 5 rounds between March and November 2020 in consultation with partners and subnational governments. The final text was launched on December 14, 2020.


What does the road to COP26 look like?

In the lead up to COP26, IPES-Food and Nourish Scotland along with the Glasgow Declaration partners will provide a platform for signatories to share best practices and insights on developing and monitoring sustainable integrated food policies and collaborate to promoting the Declaration. At COP26 the partnership and signatories will host events highlighting the values contained in the Declaration and the role of local and regional governments in building sustainable food systems.