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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