COP26 , Source: UN Climate Change on Facebook

COP26: Cities and regions urge nations to implement multilevel collaboration to fight climate crisis

COP26: Cities and regions urge nations to implement multilevel collaboration to fight climate crisis

To deliver on climate goals, all levels of government must work together

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) opened its doors to the world’s leaders on 31 October in Glasgow, Scotland. At a press conference convened by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the summit highlighted the importance of multilevel collaboration and the efforts of cities, regions, and other subnational governments to deliver on climate goals.

Approaching climate action in an inclusive way

Multilevel collaboration is necessary in order to meet ambitious targets and fight climate change. Discussing this point, the speakers at COP26 stressed that cities must approach climate action in an inclusive way. Taking a case in point, Council Leader from Glasgow City Council Susan Aitken shared:

“True leadership is bringing our citizens along with us on every step of the journey, and helping them to understand why bold actions, which are sometimes taking place at a pace and a scale that we’ve never really done before, why it’s so relevant to their everyday lives.

And that is absolutely true of leadership, whether it’s at a city level here in Glasgow, whether it’s Scottish, or at the supranational level across the United Kingdom. It’s about identifying solutions, but also ensuring that we’ve got partnerships and collaborations in place to deliver those solutions. None of us are going to be able to do this on our own.”

Taking action when national governments do not

Further underlining the crucial role played by cities and regions, the Governor of Sao Paolo Joao Doria explained that subnational leaders can bring about change when national governments are reluctant to do so. Expanding on this, Doria pointed out that although Brazil’s leaders were not present at COP26, 10 governors participated to honour the country’s commitments in the Paris Agreement.

It is important to note that the first day of COP26 coincidentally fell on World Cities Day: an international day organised by the UN to encourage cooperation among countries to address the challenges of urbanisation and promote sustainable development.

Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions, Governor of Central Macedonia Region, Greece and Greek Ambassador of the Covenant of Mayors stressed the responsibilities of local and regional governments, saying:

“We can no longer afford to ignore the fundamental role of every region, city and village in delivering climate action, or we will continue to fail our young people and our planet.”

In other words, COP26 highlighted that it is only by working together and engaging all levels of government, that we can avert the climate emergency.

Multilevel Action Pavilion: in-person and online

The Multilevel Action Pavilion is known as “the home of cities and regions at COP26”. For the first time ever, this pavilion will not only be in-person but also online, to ensure that everyone can attend from all over the world.

To attend this pavilion virtually, register on the Cities & Regions in the UNFCCC process website here.  



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