Local government leaders sign Glasgow Declaration on Food and Climate at COP26 – Food Tank

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November 6, Glasgow Declaration on Food and Climate was officially presented by 100 local governments to Glasgow City Chambers during COP26. Initiated by IPES-Food and Nourish Scotland in collaboration with Glasgow City Council, ICLEI, C40, Under2 Coalition and others, the declaration is a commitment by subnational governments to address the climate emergency through integrated food policies.

“Food is the point where climate change and health come together,” said Glasgow City Chief Councilor Susan Aitken. Participants called on world leaders to recognize that local governments and communities are essential leaders in the sustainability of food systems.

“Regions, states, cities, municipalities, civil society and communities – this is where real climate action is taking place. It was delivered before now, and it will continue to be delivered regardless of what happens in these global negotiations… and without the permission of these national leaders, ”Aitken said.

Speakers emphasized that local action can fuel both local and global solutions. “If we are serious about seeing change at COP26, we need world leaders to listen, transform land use, cap emissions from food and agriculture, and realize that many are the solution. of our problems lies in supporting local communities. says Phélim Mac Cafferty, Head of Brighton and Hove City Council, the first UK municipality to win a Gold Sustainable Food Places Award from the food partnership organization Sustainable food places.

If national and international governments reacted to the climate emergency as local governments currently do, “the world would be in a much stronger position to avoid climate degradation,” Mac Cafferty said.

The event celebrated not only the potential for change, but also the changes that are already happening on the ground. Representatives such as Ahyani Sidik, regional secretary of the government of Surakarta city in central Java, and Tunç Soyer, mayor of Izmir, Turkey, spoke about their local efforts which include a grassroots approach to combat the climate crisis. Many insist on the link between working in food systems and inequalities within their communities.

“Food is a climate challenge and it is also a social justice challenge,” says Gautier Chapuis, deputy mayor in charge of local food and food security in the city of Lyon, France.

Audrey Pulver, who is part of the Anne Hidalgo administration of the mayor of Paris, says that it is essential for all citizens and visitors to Paris, wherever they come from, to have access to quality food whatever their income: “The agriculture and food sectors are closely linked to inequalities and, therefore, we need policies that tackle these inequalities. We need to have policies that see things through the prism of inequalities and the fight against inequalities. “

Last month the Scottish government introduced the Good food bill, a national plan to support social and economic well-being, the environment, health and economic development in Scotland. Turning these plans from ambition to reality requires a comprehensive set of measures, according to Shona Robison, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government. It means interacting across a variety of systems ranging from health and social justice, knowledge and education, environmental sustainability and national prosperity.

Healthier, more resilient and more equitable food systems will be led by smallholder farmers, indigenous communities, women and youth. Supporting communities transforming food systems across the world can have impacts beyond mitigation, according to Vijay Kumar Thallam, Andhra Pradesh Government Advisor for Agriculture and RySS Co-Vice President: “ I am convinced that it can reverse climate change. “

To join the global movement for integrated food policies, subnational, regional, local and national governments around the world can sign the declaration online now.

“Our landscapes may look different and we can enjoy different types of food… but today we are united as signatories of the Glasgow Declaration to recognize that our response to the climate challenge must include an inclusive and integrated approach to policy. food, ”Robison said.

“Our post-carbon transition must be fair, and it must have people and cities at its heart. “

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