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Read the Declaration


Read the Accompanying Document



This Declaration brings together all types and sizes of local authorities – from small and medium sized towns to mega-cities, districts and regions, territories, federal states and provinces – to speak with a unified voice in renewing their commitments to develop sustainable food policies, promote mechanisms for joined-up action and call on national governments to put food and farming at the heart of the global response to the climate emergency. Formally presented during the UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow, this Declaration seeks to continue influencing international climate change negotiations.

  1. Concerned that the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the fragility of our food systems, the vulnerabilities of large parts of urban and rural populations and the critical need for preparedness and resilience in the face of shocks;

  2. Acknowledging that food systems currently account for 21-37% of total GHGs, and are at the heart of many of the world’s major challenges today including biodiversity loss, enduring hunger and malnutrition, and an escalating public health crisis; 

  3. Recognizing that unsustainable dynamics are locked in along the whole food chain, primarily stemming from industrial food and farming systems;

  4. Recognizing that extreme inequalities are pervasive throughout the food system, and are disproportionately affecting communities including people living in poverty, people experiencing racism, people displaced due to climate change or conflict, people with precarious legal status, and many others; and furthermore that many of these same groups are exploited for their labour globally;

  5. Convinced, therefore, that only a food systems approach targeting all the Sustainable Development Goals can identify effective intervention points to accelerate climate action while delivering many co-benefits, including the promotion of biodiversity, ecosystem regeneration and resilience, circularity, equity, access to healthy and sustainable diets for all, and the creation of resilient livelihoods for farm and food workers;

  6. Recognizing the need to involve all food system stakeholders in decision-making for a sustainable and just transition – including food and farm workers, civil society groups, researchers, indigenous communities, women, and especially youth whose future are the most at risk from the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss; 

  7. Recalling that cities and regions are leading the way in pioneering integrated food policies and strategies at the local level to reduce their environmental footprint, drive positive food system change and ensure greater resilience to shocks;

  8. Building on the number of commitments on sustainable urban and regional food policies already made by cities, local and regional governments over the last two decades, in particular the 2014 World Urban Forum Medellin, the 2015 Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP), the 2015 Seoul Declaration, the 2016 New Urban Agenda, and the 2019 C40 Good Food Cities Declaration;

  9. Recognizing that actions must be aligned horizontally (across policy areas) and vertically (between different levels of governance) to accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems;

  10. Emphasizing that cross-sectoral, multi-level, and multi-actor governance of food systems is required in order for sustainable and just food systems to take root, and that this requires national governments to take a proactive and enabling role; 

  11. Acknowledging that cities and regions are becoming a high ambition coalition for sustainable food system development, and that the rapidly growing global movement of city and regional food partnerships provides a uniquely powerful mechanism to deliver these reforms;

  12. Acknowledging that without accompanying regulatory and legislative reforms at the national level, the impact of such partnerships and policies will be limited;

  13. We, the undersigned elected leaders of subnational governments, in light of the upcoming UNFCCC Conference of Parties, commit to accelerate climate action by building and facilitating sustainable food systems transformation, by:

  14. Developing and implementing integrated food policies and strategies as key tools in the fight against climate change; and ensuring that these instruments adopt a food systems approach that involves actors across all parts of the food chain; include metrics to assess GHG emissions reduction targets from food systems, as well as opportunities for cooperation and best practice sharing between subnational governments. 

  15. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from urban and regional food systems in accordance with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, and building sustainable food systems that are able to rebuild ecosystems and deliver safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, and sustainable diets for all. 

  16. Calling on national governments to establish supportive and enabling policy frameworks and multi-level and multi-actor governance mechanisms, allowing coordinated decision-making on food systems. These mechanisms will support the drafting of inclusive national food policies to be included into the revisions of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). 

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