From Plate to Planet: How local governments are driving action on climate change through food

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The urgency of addressing the climate crisis demands a transformative approach to food systems, a critical yet often overlooked aspect of climate action. While national governments face challenges in meeting climate goals, this report highlights the pioneering efforts of cities and regional governments in implementing effective, on-the-ground strategies to combat climate change through food system transformation.

Key Findings

  • Local Governments as Climate Leaders: Cities and regional governments are at the forefront of cutting greenhouse gas emissions through initiatives promoting sustainable diets, reducing food waste, supporting organic farming, and ensuring food access for vulnerable populations. These actions yield not only emissions reductions but also significant social, health, economic, and environmental benefits.
  • Blueprint for Holistic Action: Local policies provide a comprehensive blueprint for addressing food and climate challenges, emphasizing social justice, participation, and accountability. These initiatives demonstrate the potential for integrating climate action into the broader framework of sustainable development.
  • Challenges Faced by Local Governments: Despite limited resources, constrained political power, and challenges posed by crises such as COVID and rising costs of living, local governments persist in making strides toward sustainable food systems. However, their efforts often go unrecognized, emphasizing the need for increased support and acknowledgment.


  • To achieve the Paris Agreement target and limit global warming, national governments should Embrace Local Exemplars: Learn from the success of cities and regional governments by incorporating their innovative policies into national frameworks, inspiring comprehensive food and climate strategies.
  • Collaborate and Fund Local Initiatives: Foster collaboration between national and local governments, providing financial support to scale up successful local initiatives on food and climate action across all cities and regions.
  • Integrate Food Systems into National Commitments: Seize the opportunity of COP28's Paris Agreement stocktaking moment to revise national climate commitments, systematically integrating food systems and acknowledging the critical role of local action.