Global cities come to Barcelona to discuss sustainable food to tackle the climate emergency

11 February 2022

The city of Barcelona hosted the 7th MUFPP Global Forum from 19 to 21 October 2021. The theme of this year’s event was “Growing Resilience: Sustainable Food to Tackle the Climate Emergency“.

In the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021, the 7th MUFPP Global Forum in Barcelona raised cities’ voices on the food climate nexus. 

A critical commitment towards COP26 was The Barcelona Challenge on Good Food and Climate, launched at the Forum. Drawing on the C40 Good Food Declaration and the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact Framework for Action, The Barcelona Challenge is an innovative tool and calls for cities to transform food systems to tackle climate emergencies.  

This  invitation only Forum included the delegations of all the signatory cities of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and those cities committed to advancing urban food policies. Experts and the scientific community, international agencies, city networks, and international civil society groups focusing on food and cities are also welcome to participate in this Global Forum.

Speaking at this year’s opening plenary included Danielle Nierenberg, Master of Ceremonies; Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona; Dr Vandana Shiva, activities and writer, Navdanya; Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan and MUFPP Steering Committee Coordinator; and Qu Dongyu, Director General, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 

Key insights: 

  • Food is at the heart of current and urgent global challenges, particularly the health, social, climate, and ecological emergencies.  The Covid-19 pandemic opened a window of opportunity to accelerate the transformation toward more resilient and sustainable food systems.
  • Cities are at the forefront in facing current global challenges. They can provide creative solutions to accelerate the urgently needed transition towards more healthy, resilient, just, sustainable food systems that can fulfil everyone’s basic needs and those of future generations. More than half of the global population lives in cities where 70% of the food produced worldwide is consumed.
  • The agri-food system is responsible for 21-37% of global GHG global emissions. It is a significant driver of land degradation, unprecedented biodiversity loss, and water, air, and soil pollution due to the massive use of synthetic fertilizers. The food-climate nexus is evident: to tackle the climate emergency, we must urgently transform the dominant way we produce, transport, eat and dispose of food worldwide. In this dynamic, cities are crucial actors as they are significant drivers for cultural, social and economic changes. They can design and implement policies quickly affecting millions of people worldwide.


FoodActionCities partners GAIN, HIVOS and RUAF also participatednin this important event.

The event was hybrid, with both in-person and online sessions. View the insights from each session here:  here. 

Insights from the 7th Global Forum – Part 1

Insights from the 7th Global Forum – Part 2

Insights from the 7th Global Forum – Part 3

Insights from the 7th Global Forum – Part 4