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Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has joined regional, local and national governments across the world to join the call to tackle the climate and nature emergency through integrated food policies by signing up to the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration during COP26.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr William McCaughey, said:

“This month, Glasgow City is hosting nearly 200 governments for the UNFCCC 26th Conference of the Parties. The most important climate change summit since the Paris Agreement, the summit will face the monumental task of bridging the gap between countries’ current climate commitments and the significant transformation needed to tackle the climate emergency.

“With food systems currently accounting for one third of total GHG emissions and simultaneously holding the potential to deliver on climate action with co-benefits for biodiversity, health, livelihoods and justice, COP26 is a unique opportunity to bring food systems reform to the forefront of the climate debate.”

An official presentation of the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration was held on Saturday 6 November, in collaboration with Nourish Scotland, the City of Glasgow, ICLEI, C40, the Under2 Coalition and the wider Glasgow Declaration partnership.

The Mayor continued:

“I was delighted to be invited to be an official signatory of the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration. I was able to attend the event virtually on Saturday 6 November and hear from a panel of speakers which included Cllr Susan Aitken (Leader of Glasgow City), Elizabeth Gulugulu Machache (co-chair of the YOUNGO Food and Agriculture working group and African Youth Initiative on Climate Change, Zimbabwe), Ir. R. Anang Noegroho Setyo Moeljono (Director of Food and Agriculture, Indonesia), Audrey Pulvar (Deputy Mayor of Paris) and Shona Robison (Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government).

“My invitation to sign the Declaration came thanks to Council taking steps to become a Sustainable Food Place (SFP) this year. The aim of SFP is to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where people live.

“The programme was previously “Sustainable Food Cities” but has amended its parameters as of 2021 to allow boroughs and counties to join the process for the first time, a chance Mid and East Antrim has jumped at.

“SFP is one of the fastest-growing social movements in the UK today and has been in existence since 2013. There are currently 56 members within the SFP network which brings together food partnerships from towns, cities, boroughs, districts and counties across the UK, driving innovation and best practice on all aspects of healthy and sustainable food.

“Organisations who join the SFP process commit to work across all aspects of the food system to solve some of today’s most pressing social, environmental and economic issues.

“With DAERA having recently announced that a new Northern Ireland Food Strategy Framework will be published in early 2022, sustainable food is certainly high on the agenda locally.

“I am pleased to confirm I have signed this important declaration, confirming Council’s support, on both a national and global scale, to address food sustainability and climate action, and ensure a more sustainable future for our Borough and ratepayers.”

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