Edinburgh has committed to putting food at the centre of its response to the climate emergency, after becoming a signatory to the International Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration.
Launched by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES) and Nourish Scotland, the declaration highlights the vital role food plays in meeting cities’ net-zero targets, as well as helping to reduce poverty, inequality and poor health.
Joined up action
By becoming a signatory to the Declaration, the City of Edinburgh Council renews its commitment to sustainable food policies and joined up action, raising awareness of how people’s livelihoods, health and local biodiversity are all interconnected with production, manufacture, supply, consumption and disposal of food.
“Food systems currently account for a third of total global greenhouse gas emissions and, with COP26 being hosted in Scotland later this year, we have a unique opportunity as Scotland’s capital city to bring food systems reform to the forefront of the climate debate,” said councillor Adam McVey, leader of the City of Edinburgh Council.
“Edinburgh’s pioneering local integrated food policies and strategies are helping to reduce the city’s impact on the environment and encouraging biodiversity.”
“We’re increasing local food growing activity and the supply of locally produced food and raising public awareness of the importance of sustainable food to our environment, economy and communities”
The declaration aligns with Edinburgh’s existing net zero commitments, which include:
- developing and implementing integrated food policies and strategies as key tools in the fight against climate change, captured in the Edinburgh’s first food growing strategy, “Growing Locally” published in April 2021
- working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from urban and regional food systems in accordance with the Paris Agreement, Edinburgh’s net zero by 2030 target, and work with regional partners
- calling on national governments to establish supportive and enabling policy frameworks to enable city partners to take action on climate change at the pace and scale needed to tackle the climate emergency.
The move follows on from the Council committing £130,000 to invest in expanding the provision of local food growing opportunities in the city earlier this year, along with a further £500,000 to enhance Edinburgh’s parks, playparks, food growing and urban forests, with £4m of related capital investment.