2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference
What this COP was about
Serving as the second meeting for the Parties to the Paris Agreement, the 25th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 25) focused on raising ambition ahead of 2020, the year in which countries are expected to update their national climate action plans and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Furthermore, this meeting aimed to complete several matters to fully operationalize the Paris Agreement, as well as showcasing and amplifying the climate actions undertaken by cities, regions, business, investors and civil society. The LGMA constituency came with 100+ mayors and other subnational leaders from 40+ countries and 70 cities and will participate in 120+ sessions supported by 20+ partners.
This was Chile’s COP
This was Chile’s COP, and highlighted Global South and Latin American priorities. Crucial climate action work was taken forward in areas including cities and local action, finance, circular economy, transport, capacity building, loss and damage, vulnerable groups and gender.
Sub-national governments took on renewed relevance in the context of COP25, with local governments and local governments networks in Chile, Latin America and from around the world uniting efforts to strengthen the capacity for NDC implementation, and raising ambition to meet Paris targets.
A record of the events from COP25, from the UNFCC and the mobilization of the LGMA.
LGMA participated to COP25 with a delegation of close to 100 Mayors and other subnational leaders from around 40 countries representing around 70 cities and regions, mobilized by the efforts of more than 20 networks and partners engaged in the LGMA Constituency.
Through these political leaders, together with their respective technical staff and with representatives of networks and partners, LGMA engaged in almost 100 events throughout COP.
The way to COP25 has witnessed regional climate events in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The latter’s perspectives and priorities remain solid elements in this Chilean COP, with the following events directly supported by the COP Presidency: Ibero-American Local Authorities Forum; Local Action for Paris Implementation; Chilean Local Authorities Summit; and Chile to UK: The road to Glasgow.
Finance remained a core focus of this COP. In particular, the objective was to fully operationalize the Paris Agreements through its Article 6 (international cooperation for implementing NDCs), making climate action more accessible and beneficial for cities through direct international cooperation, market and non-market-based approaches.
Resilience, renewables, vertical integration and equity
Resilience, renewable energy, vertical integration and equity steered several COP events. Key priorities of the Chilean Presidency, climate resilience and vertical integration can strengthen and enhance NDCs’ effectiveness, while renewable energy can drive forward the Paris Agreement’s targets of climate neutrality and emissions reduction towards limiting rising temperatures. Equity could instead ensure that this transformation into the future will leave no one behind.
Circular economy shaped the development lens towards a more efficient use of resources and an improved, circular life of materials, products and buildings. This topic influenced and shaped both dedicated sessions, such as the circular economy roundtable, and related ones, such as decarbonization and SDGs localization.
Transport too enjoyed a dedicated full-day (5 December), as well as additional sessions, aiming to raise its prominence in the UNFCCC agenda and include a Ministerial-level transport element at COP26.
Towards the unstoppable COP25
Yunus Arikan, Head of ICLEI Global Advocacy, and Jordan Harris, Subnational Government and Climate Action Expert for COP25 orient local governments on the important issues of multilevel governance and where we are in the global climate negotiations. Recorded November 27, 2019.
Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action
Established to support cooperation among countries, local governments and businesses to advancing the Paris Agreement objectives, the Marrakech Partnership focused on environmental, economic and social system transformation, leading several events on buildings, circular economy, resilience, and capacity building.
An annual compilation of progress since 2017, this year’s publication provides an assessment of actions by non-Party stakeholders – cities, regions, businesses and civil society.
Climate Action Pathways
Introduced in 2019, the Pathways suggest transformational actions and milestones towards neutrality in key areas, such as energy, industry, transport, human settlements, land use and resilience.
The NAZCA Portal
Complementing the Yearbook and Pathways documents, the Global Climate Action Portal (NAZCA) records and recognizes climate action from a diverse range of stakeholders.
Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action
Established to support cooperation among countries, local governments and businesses to advancing the Paris Agreement objectives, the Marrakech Partnership will focus on environmental, economic and social system transformation, leading several events on buildings, circular economy, resilience, and capacity building.
The Road to 2020
COP25 was to play a significant role in the success of the design of a new wave of climate action in the post-2020 phase. Considering the successes of LGMA in 2007-2009 for the Bali Roadmap, 2010-2012 in the post-Copenhagen phase, 2012-2015 for the ADP towards Paris Agreement, and 2018 for the Talanoa Dialogues, it would have been essential once again to leave COP25 in Madrid with a clear roadmap.
A high level event was held at the Chilean Pavilion on 10 December to kick-off the road towards COP26 in Glasgow, guided by the following five priority areas for the LGMA:
Increase climate emergency declarations, climate neutrality targets and transition to 100% renewable sources of energy with an additional mechanism for synergy and implementation.
Increase vertical integration in the NDCs to engage appropriately all levels of governments.
Localize Climate Finance
Ensure full operationalization, enhance effectiveness and increase budget shares of global and national climate funds that support investments of local and regional governments.
Enhance the NDCs' effectiveness by creating appropriate synergies with a circular economy and the new deal for nature to be adopted at the Biodiversity COP15 in Kunming, China, in October 2020.
Amplify Global Climate Action
Secure the continuity of the Global Climate Action and the NAZCA in the post-2020 phase with appropriate support and facilitation mechanisms, as well as expanding the existing collaboration to the stakeholders and Ministries of urbanization, infrastructure, culture, education, family, youth and arts.
Key 2020 milestones
- 10th World Urban Forum – Abu Dhabi, February
- Earth Day 50 – Global, 22 April
- UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (SB52) – Bonn, June
- World Environment Day and Beethoven Pastoral Day – Global/Bonn, 5 June
- Beyond 2020, World Built Environment Conference – Stockholm, June
- IUCN World Conservation Congress – Marseilles, June
- UN Nature Summit – New York City, September
- European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conference – Mannheim, October
- Biodiversity COP15 – Kunming, October
- Pre-COP26 – Milan, October
- COP26 – Glasgow, November
Yunus Arikan, Head of ICLEI Global Advocacy