Fourteen mayors sign declaration to promote sustainable food policies in their cities

By the middle of the century, an estimated 80% of all food will be consumed in cities. That's why mayors has a responsibility to act, according to Stockholm's mayor Anna König Jerlmyr. EPA-EFE/LISELOTTE SABROE DENMARK OUT [Lieselotte abroe/ epa]

Fourteen cities announced on Thursday (10 October) that they would pay particular attention to the sustainable and healthy food supply in their cities in the future. This way, they aim to save 60% of the carbon emissions in the food sector. EURACTIV Germany reports.

At the C40 climate meeting in Copenhagen on Thursday (10 October), an alliance of cities adopted a declaration calling for a healthier and more sustainable diet for its citizens.

Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Milan, Paris and Stockholm have committed to ensuring the supply of food by public bodies includes healthy and environmentally friendly products.

The mayors have decided to produce more locally and regionally, minimise plastic packaging and halve food waste by 2030 compared to 2015 waste levels. If current production and eating habits do not change, emissions from food production could increase by 40% by 2050.

To reduce carbon emissions in their respective cities, the fourteen mayors have also decided that the food supply from public bodies should contain fewer animal products. No more than 16 kg of meat and less than 90 kg of dairy products per capita are regarded as the annual limit for sustainable nutrition.

According to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the goal is to make “sustainable, local and organic food a simple alternative”.

23 million people fall ill every year because of contaminated foods

Despite tight control networks, foods contaminated with pathogens continue to be regularly sold in the EU and their effects on health can be deadly. Consumer protectors are therefore requesting greater transparency and a rethink of what is considered ‘healthy’. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Stockholm buys 150,000 tons of food every year

For cities, food is one of the largest sources of greenhouse related to consumption.

With an increasing number of people moving to cities all over the world, these play a central role in the fight against climate change. By the middle of the century, an estimated 80% of all food will be consumed in cities.

That is why mayors have a responsibility to act, according to Stockholm’s mayor Anna König Jerlmyr.

“In Stockholm, we serve more than 160,000 students in preschools and schools daily, and we buy over 150 million tons of food every year. This gives us a great opportunity to lead by example,” she said.

The production, transport and storage of food play a significant role in global climate change.

Germany’s agriculture ministry stated that out of the nine tonnes that each person emits per year in Germany, 1.75 tonnes is linked to food.

At the beginning of this year, an international team of researchers came to the conclusion that food leaves a carbon footprint of nine tons per person if the consequences of land use are accounted for.

For example, one kilo of fresh vegetables produces about 130 grams of CO2, while one kilo of organic beef produces more than 11,000 grams.

Fertiliser industry vows to feed one ‘extra Germany’ per year

The EU fertilisers industry published its 2030 vision on Wednesday (21 November), stressing the need to optimise fertiliser use across Europe and improve production in order to adjust to the principles of the circular economy and feed a growing world population.

At the same time, the world’s food supply must be increased by 70% by 2050 if everyone were to be nourished, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Besides its impact on the environment, healthy nutrition is also important since 30% of diseases and two-fifths of all deaths worldwide are due to unhealthy nutrition and lack of exercise, according to the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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