The C40 Food Systems Network, in partnership with EAT Initiative, convenes city officials to work together to achieve solutions to their most pressing food systems challenges. Building on the work commenced by the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, the Food Systems Network supports citywide efforts to create and implement integrated food policies that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase resilience and deliver health outcomes.
C40 research has determined that 13% of C40 cities’ total GHG emissions are associated with food consumption, with consumption of animal-sourced food representing roughly 75% of those food emissions. The majority of the world’s food is consumed in cities, and it is projected to increase to 80% by 2050. The importance and urgency of addressing the impact of our urban food systems on global climate change is clear and C40 is committed to shifting city-level policies in an effort to transform the global food system.
C40’s vision for food systems is one that is good for people and good for the planet, where all cities drastically reduce malnutrition, halve food loss and waste, and support the transition to a climate-friendly global food system. C40 envisions a future where urban residents are eating predominantly plant-based foods, which are chosen because they are accessible and affordable. It’s a future that can only be achieved through a culturally appropriate and fair transition that recognizes the different contexts between global north and global south cities, and within cities. C40 will both support cities to take more aggressive action and transform their local food systems and facilitate bold, collective political leadership to drive change beyond cities’ borders.
54 cities currently participate in C40’s Food Systems Network - please reference our Network Overview page for more details on participating cities. 14 C40 cities have signed the C40 Good Food Cities Declaration, committing to working with urban residents to achieve a ‘Planetary Health Diet’ for all by 2030, with balanced and nutritious food, reflective of the culture, geography, and demography of citizens. This will be accomplished by: aligning the signatory cities’ procurement to the Planetary Health Diet; supporting a shift in consumption towards healthy, plant-based foods; reducing food loss and waste by 50%; working with city stakeholders to develop a joint strategy for implementing these measures; and incorporating the strategies into their climate action plans.
The Food Systems Network Focus Areas
Food Procurement – using food procurement for public facilities (schools’ canteens, hospitals, elderly homes, civic buildings etc.) to foster more sustainable and healthy diets.
Food Environment – transforming the social and physical environment that affect the types of food available within neighbourhoods, the affordability of food, and the nutrition information that people are exposed to, including food marketing to allow better consumers' choices
Food Waste – raising awareness of and addressing food loss and waste reduction, including by facilitating recovery and redistribution for people in need (food banks) and implementing food waste valorization.
Regenerative Agriculture – promoting regenerative urban agriculture to decrease production emissions, close yields gaps, increase food security, support local producers, decrease food miles, mitigate urban heat island effect and reduce building energy demand (through roof and wall gardens)
Governance – supporting cities in developing food strategies; including food as part of their climate action plans; and creating food boards and councils for inter-departmental and external coordination