Climate negotiations

Tune in for updates on what the official UN Climate Change Conference (SB48) negotiations mean for local and regional governments.

The Paris Agreement recognizes that all levels of government are vital in strengthening the global response to climate change. Now, as nations lay out the rulebook for implementing the Paris Agreement, it is important that this translates into concrete mechanisms that secure a strong role for local and regional governments in achieving national climate action plans known as Nationally Determined Contributions.

ICLEI, in its capacity as the focal point working on behalf of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is tracking the official climate negotiations and mobilizing local and regional leaders to achieve more ambitious climate action driven by cooperation among all levels of government.

LGMA Talanoa closing statement

Mr Stefan Wagner, Head of the Department of International Affairs and Global Sustainability of the city of Bonn, Germany, delivered a Talanoa closing intervention on behalf of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency.  Expressing appreciation to the Presidencies for having led the Talanoa process in an open and inclusive manner, the statement delivered four key messages as follows.

First, the May Talanoa Dialogue underscored the importance of implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement based on multilevel governance approaches.  Sundays Talanoas reaffirmed that the implementation of the Paris Agreement should accelerate through the engagement of all levels of government in the light of different national circumstances.

Second, the Talanoa process offers a critical opportunity to create synergy between the Urban World and NDC implementation.  Sustainable integrated urban and territorial development provides momentum and necessary ingredients for meeting the long term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.

Third, two most recent examples of Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues were shared.  On 4 May, the city of Quito held its Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues which led to an MOU which creates the National Consultative Committee for Climate Change in Ecuador.  The city of Bonn held its high level, multi-stakeholder Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue and Dinner on 27 April where concrete examples of Scottish green bonds and a common pool of resources for cities in Ghana were shared as best practices.

Fourth, pursuant to the LGMA Talanoa opening plenary statement, an addition list of Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues was announced which comprises 50 sessions in 45 countries, equally representing the global North and global South.  The LGMA constituency reiterated its full support to the Talanoa process in the lead up to COP 24 with a view to accelerating ambitious climate action worldwide at all levels.

You can read the full statement here.

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LGMA statement at the 2 May Talanoa opening

The statement on behalf of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency at the Talanoa Dialogue opening plenary was delivered by Mr David Jácome Polit, Chief Resilience Officer of Quito Metropolitan Government on 2 May.

Opening with the recognition that the Paris Agreement calls for engagement of all levels of governments, the LGMA statement emphasized the importance of strengthening multilevel climate governance in implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).  In this context, four key messages were delivered.

First, the Talanoa Dialogue is an opportunity to make NDCs fit for Paris Agreement.  At COP 23, local and regional governments have advocated for the Facilitative Dialogue to be turned into an open, inclusive and year-long process.  The COP23 Presidency was thanked for taking this vision forward, based on their vision of building a grand coalition, and convincing all UNFCCC Parties with this approach of Talanoa.

Second, local and regional governments and their networks immediately responded to this call by announcing Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues, thanks to the fruitful collaboration with the UN Climate Change Secretariat and Cop23 Presidency.  Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues will help to seize the potential of urbanization and enhancement of the engagement of local and regional governments in climate action by fostering multilevel policy dialogue, coordination, collaboration and coherence among relevant processes and initiatives deliver and raise the ambition of NDCs.

Third, the Quito Metropolitan Government is one of the hosts of those initial 24 events that will convene Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues worldwide.  This dialogue will take place on 4 May Friday, with the engagement of ministries of environment, finance, transport, housing, mayors across Ecuador, with representatives of civil society and financing institutions – respecting the true spirit of Talanoa.  At the closing on 9 May, ICLEI and City of Bonn will also announce the additional 20+ Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues to be held globally.

Fourth, the LGMA expressed its appreciation to the UNFCCC secretariat on the first set of submissions.  Diverse submissions of cities and regions as well as references of many Parties reaffirmed the importance of taking multilevel governance approaches in implementing NDCs and raising ambition.

Read the full opening statement here.

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The why, how and what of the Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues

In support of the Talanoa Dialogue launched by the Fijian Government and the UN Climate Secretariat, forums in around 40 countries will help to implement and raise ambitions of national climate actions through integrated sustainable urban and territorial development, as well as engagement of local and regional governments.

What is Talanoa Dialogue?

By the time of adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, nations agreed to review their commitments – known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs – through a facilitative dialogue to be held at COP24, the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland. This review would take into account their weakness in terms of ambitions as well as implementation-related risks. In November 2017, during COP23, the Fijian Government convened an open dialogue with all stakeholders to design the facilitative dialogue.

Building on the fact that Paris Agreement recognizes the importance of engagement of all levels of governments, the Bonn-Fiji Commitment adopted at the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders at COP23 on 12 November 2017, proposed national governments to set up inclusive consultations processes domestically with their local and regional governments towards and at COP24. The first decision adopted at COP23 announced Talanoa Dialogue as a vision for this facilitative dialogue process, which is even more enhanced by being designed as a year-round process with additional consultations at the local, national and regional level.

 

Engaging local and regional governments at the Talanoa Dialogue

Each national government, in many cases led by ministries of environment or climate change, may decide their own vision and processes for Talanoa Dialogues for their NDCs. Therefore, it is important to create additional mechanisms to demonstrate the contribution of integrated sustainable urban and territorial development, as well as engagement of local and regional governments. The members and partners of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency, started to define priority countries, cities, partners and processes to dialogue of local and regional governments with their respective ministries responsible for the implementation of NDCs, along with the respective ministries for urbanization, housing, public works or cities and other subnational governments.

 

Launching Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue calendar at the World Urban Forum

The Paris Agreement and the Talanoa Dialogue present opportunities for the successful implementation of the New Urban Agenda by connecting urban development to the global sustainability agenda as well as benefiting from the good practices of multilevel governance. However, majority of the global urban community, including ministries for urbanization, housing, public works in many countries as well as thousands of local and regional governments worldwide are still neither aware nor involved in this important process of the global climate community. As WUF is the biggest gathering of the urban community, it makes perfect sense to kick-off this process at the WUF9 High Level Roundtable on climate on 9 February 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, through the leadership of the global constituency of local and regional governments.

 

Potential model for multilevel dialogue

Upon the invitation by a city or region, an LGMA partner or a national or regional network, the ministers or focal points of environment or climate change would present their NDCs, with the participation of ministers responsible for urbanization, cities, housing or public works, followed by dialogues with leaders of local and regional governments.

These dialogues will convene all levels of government in a conversation around how to deliver on and raise the ambition of the NDCs and develop further resources to support climate action at all levels. Specifically:

Deliver: How can local and regional governments help national governments to seize the potential of sustainable and integrated urban and territorial development in the of implementation of NDCs?

Raise: What are the options to integrate commitments and actions of local and regional governments to deliver NDCs and raise its ambitions?

Develop: How can national governments collaborate with local and regional governments to mobilize appropriate technical, financial and policy resources to realize solutions addressed in delivering and raising ambition?

 

Intended outcome

Ultimately, this process will culminate in informed submissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be consolidated at the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders at COP24 in Katowice, with follow-up beyond 2018 towards the revision of NDCs.

 

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Summary of ICLEI’s five key takeaways from COP23

ICLEI in its capacity as the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency has led the successful adoption of the Bonn-Fiji Commitment of Local and Regional Leaders to Deliver the Paris Agreement at All Levels[1] which was hailed as one the highlights of COP23 by the UNFCCC.[2]

The succinct five takeaways from COP23 that ICLEI analyzed are as follows:

    1. COP23 demonstrated that the momentum for the Paris Agreement implementation remains strong.

 

    1. COP23 confirmed the key role played by local and regional governments in bridging the emissions gap.

 

    1. COP23 confirmed that through the Talanoa dialogue multilevel and multistakeholder partnerships will be strengthened.

 

    1. COP23 laid the foundation for a successful completion of the Paris Agreement Work Programme by COP 24.

 

  1. COP23 reaffirmed the importance of pre-2020 implementation and ambition.

ICLEI will continue to actively engage in the UNFCCC process in the lead up to COP24 with a view to achieving the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement led by cities and other subnational authorities.

To see the full ICLEI policy blog on this topic, please click here.

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A review on PAWP progress

By Jisun Hwang, Senior Climate Advocacy Officer, ICLEI World Secretariat

A joint plenary of the COP and CMA was held on 17 November 2017 presided over by the President of COP 23. Mandated by the COP and CMA during the Marrakech Conference last year, this meeting aimed at reviewing progress on the implementation of the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP).

Presiding Officers of the SBSTA, SBI and the APA took the floor to provide updates on the progress made at their respective bodies. The SBSTA Chair stated that a balanced progress has been achieved in all agenda items, including on the Technology Mechanism and the Paris Agreement Article 6. The SBI Chair underscored two new items that were considered under the SBI, such as the education and public awareness and common time frames. The APA Co-Chairs informed the delegates that the APA has achieved the objective it had set out at the beginning of this session, identifying skeletal elements for transitioning into a full negotiations text at the April-May sessions next year. The APA 1.4 closing plenary remains suspended owing to a concern regarding the APA sub-item 8a.

Following the reports from the Presiding Officers, Amb. Khan, Chief Negotiator of the COP 23 Presidency, provided updates on the outcomes of the COP 23 consultations on the PAWP, Talanoa Dialogue, and pre-2020 implementation and ambition. The Presidency consultations on the PA Article 9.5 is still ongoing and it is close to being concluded.

The COP 23 President thanked all Presiding Officers and Amb. Khan for their efforts. The President further remarked that the progress reported today reaffirms that Parties are on track to complete the PAWP by COP 24.

The design of the Talanoa Dialogue is contained in an informal note by the COP 22 and COP 23 Presidencies and can be found here: http://unfccc.int/files/na/application/pdf/approach_to_the_talanoa_dialogue.pdf

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UNFCCC releases COP23 initial outcomes on: Paris Agreement Work Program, Talanoa Dialogue and pre-2020

By Jisun Hwang, Senior Climate Advocacy Officer, ICLEI World Secretariat

The COP23 Presidency released a non-paper on the possible initial outcomes of COP23.

The initial outcomes focused on three main areas: 1) Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) 2) Talanoa Dialogue 3) Pre-2020 implementation and action. The Local Governments and Municipal Authorities constituency will be invited provide valuable input towards the Talanoa Dialogue and the pre-2020 implementation and ambition through its continued and strengthened contributions to the Technical Examination Processes (TEPs) and the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Yearbook.

Regarding the PAWP, the COP welcomes the progress made at this session by subsidiary bodies SBSTA, SBI and APA and recommends development of an online platform where progress by all three bodies could be published. The deadline of the PAWP completion set by COP22 – which is by COP24 in December 2018 – is reaffirmed. All subsidiary bodies and constituted bodies are encouraged to accelerate their work towards meeting that deadline. The COP leaves open the possibility of resuming sessions of the subsidiary bodies in the second half of 2018, between the April-May sessions and COP24,  in order to focus further on the PAWP prior to COP24.

Regarding the Talanoa Dialogue – 2018 Facilitative Dialogue – the COP takes note of the features document prepared jointly by the COP22 and COP23 Presidents. Non-Party stakeholders (NPS) including cities and other subnational authorities are encouraged to prepare analytical and policy-relevant input to inform the Talanoa Dialogue.

Regarding the pre-2020 implementation and ambition, a broad range of mechanisms to strengthen the pre-2020 action has been calibrated as below.

  • The COP23 Presidency and UNFCCC Executive Secretary encouraged Parties to ratify the Doha Amendment. The amendment, approved in 2012, extended the duration of the Kyoto Protocol, by establishing a second commitment period from 2013 to 2020.
  • A call for submissions on the pre-2020 implementation and ambition input will be launched. The UNFCCC Secretariat will produce a synthesis report on these submissions.
  • Pre-2020 implementation and action will be one of the elements to be considered by the Talanoa Dialogue.
  • Two Stocktakes will take place at COP24 and COP25, respectively, gathering input from the following sources:
    • Stocktake at COP 24
      • Input by the COP, CMP, SBSTA, SBI, constituted bodies, and the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism.
      • Pre-2020 mitigation efforts and provision of support.
      • MPGCA outcomes, including the Summary for Policymakers of the Technical Examination Processes and the Yearbook.
    • Stocktake at COP 25
      • Input by the COP, CMP, SBSTA, SBI, constituted bodies, and the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism.
      • Outcomes of the 2018 high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance, Talanoa Dialogue, and the Stocktake at COP 24.
      • MPGCA outcomes, including the Summary for Policymakers of the Technical Examination Processes and the Yearbook.

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Draft decision released on the assessment of the technical examination processes on mitigation and adaptation

By Jisun Hwang, Senior Climate Advocacy Officer, ICLEI World Secretariat

The draft decision on the assessment of the technical examination processes on mitigation and adaptation – TEP M and A – has been released: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2017/cop23/eng/l02.pdf.

The COP encourages further enhancement of engagement by Non-Party stakeholders (NPS) including cities and other subnational authorities to the TEP M and TEP A. Key mandates pertaining to the LGMA constituency are as follows.

  • The COP expresses its appreciation to NPS for the efforts undertaken under the TEP M and A, and calls for better integration of the TEPs into the MPGCA process.
  • As a concrete measure to enhance the NPS engagement at the TEPs, the COP invites expert organisations to lead relevant technical expert meetings (TEMs) on a voluntary basis. ICLEI, for example, as an expert organisation on sustainability at the local and regional levels, is foreseen to be able to scale up its contributions towards the TEPs, building upon this mandate.
  • The COP invites Parties and NPS to organise regional TEMs with a view to examining specific finance, technology and capacity-building resources necessary to scale up actions in regional contexts.
  • NPS are invited to share experience on actions taken as input to relevant technical papers, summaries for policymakers and high-level events on climate action.

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LGMA at the APA suspension plenary

At the suspension plenary of the APA held on 15 November, the LGMA constituency made an intervention on the progress made under the fourth part of the first session of the APA on the Framework for Transparency of Action and Support and Global stocktake. Jisun Hwang, Senior Climate Advocacy Officer at ICLEI World Secretariat, delivered the intervention. The full statement will be posted on the UNFCCC website. The excerpts of the intervention are as follows.

Local and regional governments note with appreciation the progress made on the agenda item on modalities, procedures and guidelines for the transparency framework for action and support and the global stocktake.

Building upon the recognition provided by the Paris Agreement preamble on the importance of the engagements at all levels, the LGMA constituency reaffirms its readiness to support enhancing of the transparency framework for action and support with a view to promoting effective implementation of NDCs at the local and regional levels.

Regarding the effectiveness and sustainability of adaptation action, the LGMA constituency will fully support Parties in strengthening of adaptation ownership and stakeholder engagement by promoting alignment of subnational policies and actions into those at the national level so as to ensure the replicability of such policy alignment at all levels of government.

Regarding the specific information on capacity-building support, the LGMA constituency will contribute towards strengthening of the links between regional, national and subnational government policies, plans and actions with a view to undertaking low carbon climate resilient development and creation of capacity at the local and regional levels to develop and implement climate policy consistent with national development planning.

Regarding the global stocktake, the LGMA constituency looks forward to enhancing its cooperation with the IPCC including the hosting of the CitiesIPCC Conference in March next year, with a view to promoting strategic engagement and discussion with the IPCC and other experts in order to provide vital input from cities and other subnational authorities towards assessing the collective efforts in an open, inclusive, transparent and facilitative manner.

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Subsidiary bodies close plenary supporting improved monitoring of adaptation efforts and better coordination on capacity-building

Excerpts of the intervention delivered by Jisun Hwang, ICLEI Senior Climate Advocacy Officer, on behalf of the LGMA constituency at the joint closing plenary of the subsidiary bodies for scientific and technical advice (SBSTA) and implementation (SBI). The intervention focused on the progress made under the SBs at their 47th sessions on the Adaptation Fund, Paris Committee on Capacity-building, Nairobi Work Programme, and Paris Agreement Article 6.8 on the framework for non-market approaches (NMAs). The full statement will be posted on the UNFCCC website.

Local and regional governments welcome the progress made at the SBs during this session and thank you Chairs for your leadership and the secretariat for its excellent support.

Regarding the Third review of the Adaptation Fund, we support the recognition that strategic engagement with stakeholders at the subnational level is one of the comparative advantages of the Adaptation Fund. We look forward to seeing continued engagement by the Adaptation Fund Board with subnational actors in adaptation projects. In this context, we will fully support the efforts towards improving the monitoring of adaptation impacts and results of the Adaptation Fund by using local- and regional-specific metrics.

Regarding the annual technical progress report of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB), the LGMA constituency notes with appreciation the recommendations made by the PCCB on the need for better coordination among different international and national stakeholders, partnering with entities at the subnational level, including cities, counties and provinces, to implement NDCs.

Regarding the Nairobi Work Programme, the LGMA constituency welcomes the outcomes of the 11th Focal Point Forum on human settlements and adaptation where ICLEI was one of the collaborating entities. The Forum successfully facilitated the sharing of good practices, experiences and lessons learned on the recent work in the areas of human settlements and adaptation, including indicators of adaptation and resilience at the national and local levels.

Regarding the Paris Agreement Article 6.8 on the framework for non‐market approaches, the LGMA constituency reaffirms its readiness to support Parties in identifying opportunities for the enhancement of existing linkages, creation of synergies, coordination and implementation of NMAs at local, national and global levels.

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APA Transparency informal note refers to multilevel governance

by Jisun Hwang, ICLEI Senior Climate Advocacy Officer

APA agenda item 5: Modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) for the transparency framework for action and support referred to in Article 13 of the Paris Agreement informal note by co-facilitators refers to multilevel governance: http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/bonn_nov_2017/in-session/application/pdf/apa_5_informal_note.pdf.

One of the core elements that constitutes the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), the enhanced transparency framework for action and support established under the Paris Agreement is intended for building mutual trust and confidence and to promote effective implementation, with built-in flexibility which takes into account Parties’ different capacities and builds upon collective experience.

The importance of pursuing multilevel governance is mentioned in two areas, one on adaptation and the other on capacity building, which follows the provisions of the Paris Agreement. The specific references made are as follows.

Adaptation – Art 7 of the PA

Ownership, stakeholder engagement, alignment of actions into national and subnational policies, replicability.

Capacity-building – Art 11 of the PA

Strengthening the links between regional, national and subnational government policies, plans and actions on climate change development and creation of capacity to analyse, develop and implement climate policy consistent with national development planning and reporting system.

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Third iteration of the PA Art 6.8 informal notes by co-chairs released

by Jisun Hwang, ICLEI Senior Climate Advocacy Officer

Paris Agreement Article 6.8 third iteration of the co-chairs informal note contains a multilevel governance element.

Negotiations on the SBSTA agenda item 11 (c): work programme under the framework for non‐market approaches (NMAs) referred to in Article 6, paragraph 8, of the Paris Agreement are ongoing. According to the third iteration of the co-chairs’ informal note released on the UNFCCC website on 12 November 2017, a multilevel governance element appears as one of the stepwise approaches under the chapter on work programme activities of NMNs.

The stepwise approaches illustrate that after having identified existing NMAs that are relevant to Article 6.8 (Step 1), then identification of existing linkages, synergies, coordination and implementation already occurring between those NMAs and positive experiences would take place (Step 2). The multilevel governance element comes in as Step 3: Identifying opportunities for the enhancement of existing linkages, creation of synergies, coordination and implementation of NMAs at local, national and global levels.

The subsidiary bodies are set to start closing its work from tomorrow, 14 November. The preparation for draft conclusions on this agenda sub-item is underway and will be posted on the UNFCCC website in due course.

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SBI 47 draft conclusions on the PCCB have been released

by Jisun Hwang, ICLEI Senior Climate Advocacy Officer

SBI 47 draft conclusions on the PCCB containing a draft decision for consideration and adoption by the COP have been released: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2017/sbi/eng/l28.pdf.

The COP, in paragraph 3, welcomes the annual technical progress report of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building for 2017 – see http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2017/sbi/eng/11.pdf – taking note of the recommendations contained therein.

One of the recommendations of the PCCB to the COP contained in the said technical report was to recommend better coordination among different international and national stakeholders, and partnering with entities at the subnational level, including cities, counties and provinces, to implement NDCs.

Thus, although this need for a multilevel governance framework was not directly referred to in the draft decision, it can be ascertained that the LGMA constituency’s intervention made during the first meeting of the PCCB made its way to be taken note of by COP 23.

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Draft text on the third review of the Adaptation Fund released

by Jisun Hwang, ICLEI Senior Climate Advocacy Officer

The SBI agenda sub-item on the third review of the Adaptation Fund has been released which contains a draft decision for consideration and adoption by CMP 13 See http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/bonn_nov_2017/in-session/application/pdf/sbi_i15b.pdf.

In line with the strong support on strengthening the partnership with local and regional governments made by the LGMA constituency through its intervention on the CMP opening plenary held on 7 November 2017, the draft text released as of 10 November shows that the role of cities and other subnational authorities in supporting adaptation action would be underlined.

Key mandates by the CMP to the Adaptation Fund Board pertaining to the LGMA constituency are as follows:

The CMP recognises the comparative advantage of the Adaptation Fund, including the strategic engagement by stakeholders at the subnational level.

The CMP encourages the Adaptation Fund Board to continue to engage with subnational actors through, inter alia, microfinance schemes, weather-based insurance arrangements, involvement with local industry groups and farmers in adaptation projects, and public–private partnerships.

The CMP requests the Adaptation Fund Board to improve the monitoring of adaptation impacts and results of the Fund, including using local and sector-specific metrics.

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Capacity building needs to be undertaken with a multilevel governance approach

Excerpts from the intervention delivered by Jisun Hwang, ICLEI Senior Climate Advocacy Officer, at the stocktaking plenary. The intervention was made on behalf of the LGMA constituency and it focused on the progress made under the SBI agenda sub-item of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building. The full statement will be posted on the UNFCCC website.

The LGMA constituency welcomes the progress made so far by all six bodies. We would like to reiterate our support once again to you Mr President for your oversight role in ensuring the progress in all bodies.

We focus this intervention specifically on the progress made under the SBI 47 agenda item 16 (b): Matters relating to capacity-building: Annual technical progress report of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) for 2017.

As noted by the COP, the PCCB will continue its 2017 focus area or theme in 2018, which is capacity-building activities for the implementation of NDCs in the context of the Paris Agreement. The LMGA constituency will ensure that capacity-building activities under the Paris Agreement are undertaken with a multilevel governance approach. We therefore call upon Parties to focus on enabling local and regional governments to enhance capacity-building activities that support the implementation of NDCs and the enhancement of the level of ambition of NDCs.

The LGMA constituency will continue to support the work of the PCCB, in particular its 2018 focus area or theme by sharing the lessons learned and opportunities identified for actions with high mitigation and adaptation potential, including those with sustainable development co-benefits at the local and regional level.

In this context, we underline the need for the COP to recommend to the PCCB strengthening of partnerships with governments at the local and regional level, including cities and other subnational authorities, with a view to better coordinating capacity-building activities for the implementation of NDCs in the context of the Paris Agreement through the engagements of government at all levels based on multilevel governance mechanisms.

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LMGA at the open-ended informal consultations on the Talanoa Dialogue

by Jisun Hwang, ICLEI Senior Climate Advocacy Officer

The LGMA constituency presented its views on the Talanoa Dialogue at the open-ended informal consultations convened jointly by the COP 23 and the COP 22 Presidency on 10 November 2017 at 11.15-12.00hrs. Jisun Hwang, Senior Climate Advocacy Officer at ICLEI World Secretariat, delivered an intervention on the importance of the multilevel governance framework in making the Talanoa Dialogue a success. The three main points made during the intervention are as follows.

1. cCR: 5.6 GtCO2e reduction by 2020

As of today, over 1,000 local and regional governments from 86 countries, representing over 800 million people, have reported their emissions reduction targets through ICLEI’s carbonn Climate Registry which is one of the main data providers to the NAZCA platform. The achievement of these goals would result in a reduction of 5.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020, compared to the levels going as far back as 1990. The LGMA looks forward to further contributing to the TD process based on this concrete input.

2. Multilevel governance

We encourage a domestic vertical integration process to fully operationalize the Paris Agreement preamble recognition on the importance of the engagements of government at all levels. The LGMA will fully support this process by enhancing capacity building activities and workshops aimed at further facilitating a multilevel governance framework that raises the ambition of NDCs. This is based on further detailed analysis of the emissions reductions based on voluntary commitments from cities and other subnational authorities.

3. CitiesIPCC as input to the IPCC 1.5 report

Local and regional govenrments are already working hand-in-hand with the IPCC. The CitiesIPCC in March, Edmonton, Canada 2018 will provide valuable input to the IPCC 1.5 report. Cities and urban areas are designated as one of the cross-cutting items of the IPCC AR6 cycle. We also look forward to actively contributing to the IPCC AR7 special report on cities.

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Nairobi work programme (NWP) 11th Focal Point Forum

by Laura Kavanaugh, Resilient Cities Program Manager at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

On 8 November, expert stakeholders and national government representatives met at COP23 to discuss climate resilience in human settlements at the 11thFocal Point Forum of the NWP. Interactive discussions built on the findings of submissions from governments and NWP partners and sought to identify concrete opportunities to bridge gaps in knowledge, funding, capacity, and policy.

Five key findings drawn from the submissions and the interactive forum discussions will be incorporated into a detailed synthesis paper and presented during the UNFCCC Climate Conference in May 2018 (SBSTA 48).

First, a long-term view. Short-term solutions are at best unsustainable and at worst lead to maladaptation. Visualizing a range of adaptation pathways that incorporate long term options such as ecosystem-based solutions, supports evidence-based resilience planning that can respond to changing climate scenarios.

Second, an inclusive process. Climate change will manifest in various ways at various times for different people and places. Governments cannot predict and manage these diverse impacts alone. They must partner with scientists as well as stakeholders and communities in order to understand how to prepare and respond most effectively.

Third, equal partnerships. Climate change is a global challenge with highly localized consequences. Local adaptation actions and mandates need to be properly resourced and supported. This includes support for technical capacity building and access to disaggregated data. Multilevel governance structures are needed that create favorable environments to develop and fund local adaptation actions.

Fourth, upscaling mechanisms. Human settlements are at various stages of adaptation planning. There is a lot of knowledge available on good practices that can be shared to accelerate implementation, for example, through city to city partnerships. North-South exchanges are particularly relevant, though learning can flow in all directions.

Last, a monitoring and maintenance plan. The benefits of fixed term adaptation programs (e.g. exchange or planning programs with external funding) often end when the program does. Working through long term, established partners such as city networks can be more sustainable. Measuring and reporting outcomes also encourages sustained engagement and accountability.

Visit http://unfccc.int/adaptation/workstreams/nairobi_work_programme/items/9201.php to follow along and contribute your ideas for advancing climate resilience in human settlements.

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Nairobi work programme draft text released

by Jisun Hwang, ICLEI Senior Climate Advocacy Officer

The Bonn Conference under the Fijian COP 23 Presidency is running smoothly.  A draft text of the SBSTA 47 agenda item 3: Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change (NWP) was published on the UNFCCC website.

The SBSTA welcomed the report on progress made in implementing activities under the NWP, especially progress in the following four issues: ecosystems, water resources, human settlements and health.

The SBSTA acknowledged the recent work in the areas of human settlements and adaptation, indicators of adaptation and resilience at the national and/or local level or for specific sectors, and adaptation actions and plans that could enhance economic diversification and produce mitigation co-benefits, submitted by Parties, NWP partner organizations and other relevant organizations.

The NWP will be reviewed at SBSTA 48 for which a series of webinars and an expert group meeting will be held. The report of this expert group meeting, as well as a synthesis report on the work of the NWP since SBSTA 44 will inform the review at SBSTA 48 (April-May 2018).

The deadline for the submission of views on further improving the relevance and effectiveness of the NWP in light of the Paris Agreement for consideration at SBSTA 48 would be changed from 12 January 2018 to March 2018.

The draft text can be found here: http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/bonn_nov_2017/in-session/application/pdf/sbsta_47_item_3_nwp.pdf

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ICLEI at the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action

by Jisun Hwang, ICLEI Senior Climate Advocacy Officer

The six-day MPGCA aimed at scaling up climate action by non-Party stakeholders (NPS) will be launched tomorrow and finalized on Wednesday, 15 November at the closing event at the Bula Zone.

Building upon the success from the last year, the MPGCA process added three new additional initiatives. First, the MPGCA Leadership Network was established; Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn and ICLEI’s First Vice President is an inaugural member. Second, the MPGCA Yearbook will be published at COP 23 demonstrating climate action by NPS with detailed analysis on their effectiveness and contributions to the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement. Third, the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders organized by ICLEI was embedded as part of the MPGCA events constellation. Outcomes of the Summit will be presented as a collective voice on climate action by cities and other subnational authorities to heads of state/government and ministers who will engage at the COP high-level segment in the second week of COP 23.

ICLEI leaders form an integral part of the success of this year’s MPGCA, as demonstrated by the fact that Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul and President of ICLEI is invited to speak at the MPGCA high level opening on Monday, 13 November and Ashoka-Alexander Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn and First Vice President of ICLEI is invited to speak at the closing of the MPGCA on Wednesday, 15 November. In addition, a number of other ICLEI leaders have been invited to speak at both thematic and high level engagement events of the MPGCA, including local and regional leaders from Malmö, Tshwane, Oslo, Quito, Vancouver, Jakarta, Merida, Pittsburgh, St. Gabriel, Davenport and Quelimane, among others.

The MPGCA high level event is a mandated event by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC and plays a significant role by further strengthening high-level engagement on the implementation of policy options and actions arising from the UNFCCC technical examination processes on mitigation and adaptation, drawing on the summary for policymakers that is published under the oversight of the high level champions to provide input on specific policies, practices and actions representing good practices, among others.

To see further information on the overview of MPGCA events, click here: http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/10490.php. To see the summary for policymakers click here: http://unfccc.int/files/paris_agreement/application/pdf/summary_for_policymakers_2017.pdf

 

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Local and regional governments support efforts on capacity-building, climate adaptation, finance

by Jisun Hwang, ICLEI Senior Climate Advocacy Officer

Excerpt from the statement delivered at the joint opening of the SBSTA 47 and SBI 47, on behalf of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency.

Building upon the successful outcomes of SBI 46 on Arrangements for intergovernmental meetings, we welcome the Open Dialogue by the Presidency. We will highlight at this dialogue how local and regional governments are strengthening their resolve to curb climate change and contribute to raising the ambition of NDCs.

In this context, we would like to highlight the progress made in three areas: capacity-building, adaptation and finance.

First, we applaud the progress made this year by the Paris Committee on Capacity-Building (PCCB). As noted in the PCCB Annual Technical Progress Report, capacity-building under the Paris Agreement will need to be undertaken with a multilevel governance approach, ensuring a better coordination among different international and national stakeholders, partnering with local and regional governments to implement NDCs.

Second, we welcome the progress made by the Nairobi work programme under which potential collaborative actions towards closing knowledge gaps in urban adaptation action have been identified. In this respect, the LGMA constituency wishes you a successful meeting at the 11th Focal Point Forum on human settlements and adaptation where ICLEI is one of the collaborating organisations.

Third, we commend the outcomes of the SCF Forum which focused on “Mobilizing finance for climate-resilient infrastructure.” As mentioned by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group at the forum, we call for Parties to engage cities and other subnational authorities more rigorously in driving resilient urban action, as urban areas are where the effects of climate change will be felt the most.

Based on all this progress made, the LGMA constituency reiterates its readiness to fully support the work of the SBs by ensuring multilevel governance, operationalised through the engagements of government at all levels, as envisioned by the Paris Agreement.

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What are local and regional governments doing at COP23 and why it matters

by Yunus Arikan and Jisun Hwang, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

As the largest annual gathering of climate activists and negotiators begins in Bonn, here is a short glossary on the basics of COP23.

The Conference of Parties (COP) is the annual meeting of the national governments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It complements a year-round process, which comprises of numerous technical sessions moving negotiations forward and laying the groundwork for COP decisions.

As for previous climate talks, the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency is the key advocacy channel for local and regional governments at COP23.

The Action Agenda, bringing policy goals into concrete implementation by all partners, will be led by the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.

In 2018 nations will assess their progress on implementing the Paris Agreement, through a process called Facilitative Dialogue.

The Paris Agreement recognizes the importance of engagement with all levels of government. Therefore, for the Facilitative Dialogue to be effective, national governments need to work together with their local and other subnational governments to track performance and implement effective, coordinated climate action, with the aim to progressively raise ambitions at all levels.

Further resources:
Advocacy notes for local and regional leaders at COP23
Overview of the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders

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