Understanding the structural and chemical changes that reactive metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) undergo is crucial for the development of new efficient catalysts for electrochemical reduction of CO2. Here, we describe three Bi(III) materials, MFM-220, MFM-221 and MFM-222, which are constructed from the same ligand (biphenyl-3,3’,5,5’-tetracarboxylic acid) but which show distinct porosity with solvent-accessible voids of 49.6%, 33.6% and 0%, respectively. We report the first study of the impact of porosity of MOFs on their evolution as electrocatalysts. A Faradaic efficiency of 90.4% at -1.1 V vs RHE (reversible hydrogen electrode) is observed for formate production over an electrode decorated with MFM-220-p formed from MFM-220 on application of an external potential in the presence of 0.1 M KHCO3 electrolyte. In situ electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy confirms the presence of ·COOH radicals as a reaction intermediate, with an observed stable and consistent Faradic efficiency and current density for production of formate by electrolysis over 5 h. This study emphasises the significant role of porosity of MOFs as they react and evolve during electroreduction of CO2 to generate value-added chemicals.