Engaging cities is shown to result in more ambitious climate efforts, Source: Depositphotos

Global Stocktake would be incomplete without global cities’ participation

Global Stocktake would be incomplete without global cities’ participation

Local authorities at COP28 are calling for increased acknowledgement of their importance in transformative climate action

At COP28, one of the key themes emerging is the role of cities and local governments in climate action, a topic that has not received adequate emphasis in the current Global Stocktake (GST) text. Despite early momentum at the conference for subnational actors, this vital element of multilevel action is missing.

Leaders of city alliances and local government representatives urge governments to include local authorities in designing the next round of national climate action plans and not leave them out again.

Urban leaders play a crucial role in this context, as they are the ones who engage directly with local communities and represent their voices. Their close connection with the grassroots level positions them uniquely to understand and advocate for the needs and concerns of their constituents, making their involvement in decision-making processes not just beneficial, but essential.

Recognizing the importance of cities brings results

Adding to this, Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities, points out, "70% of energy is consumed in cities around the world, so you cannot tackle climate change without focusing on cities." This fact underscores the pivotal role of urban areas in both the challenges and solutions to climate change.

In response, ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin made the following statement:

"The message of these government leaders has been clear: Countries can be more ambitious when they include multilevel governance and cooperation in their climate goals and plans. However, we are failing to see that same vision reflected in the currently negotiated Global Stocktake text.

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability calls on all UNFCCC Parties — and in particular the 60+ signatories of Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnership for Climate Action (CHAMP) — to state clearly and explicitly in the GST Outcome texts the need to advance multilevel action in the new NDCs towards 2025. ICLEI represents over 2,500 local governments committed to sustainable development and climate action and serves as the focal point for cities and regions to the UNFCCC through the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency.”

Van Begin added that an analysis of more than 60 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) showed that countries that included and accounted for the urban components were likely to show a more ambitious climate action impetus. This alone could serve as a wake-up call to the decision-makers to insist on updating the requirements for the 2025 NDCs by including all levels of government.



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