2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference

26th Conference of the Parties | Glasgow, UK | 31 October-12 November 2021

‘Multilevel Collaboration’ in the Paris Agreement –
And other key outcomes from COP26

COP26 was expected to raise ambition and kick-off the second phase of the Paris Agreement with clear mechanisms. The LGMA Constituency urged COP26 to embrace multilevel action—collaboration across all levels of government—as an essential element to respond to the climate emergency. Here, we achieved significant success.

The LGMA left Glasgow with the preamble of the Paris Agreement now recognizing all levels of government are instrumental to securing a 1.5-degree future. Agreed on by nearly 200 countries, the Glasgow Climate Pact, along with other COP26 outcomes, enshrined “multilevel collaboration” as a new normal for how the Paris Agreement can be implemented. References to multilevel action appear more than 30 times in the outcome documents, including in the Paris Agreement’s preamble.

In this new era of climate action, local and regional governments are active partners—to their residents, their nations, and the global climate regime.

The Glasgow Climate Pact now holds the direction and vision (along with most mechanisms) needed to move the world into emergency mode—but the LGMA will need to push to make “emergency mode” a full-scale reality.

The Multilevel Action Pavilion: The LGMA’s Home in the Blue Zone

Backed by the political, technical and financial support from the Scottish Government, the Multilevel Action Pavilion elevated the LGMA’s engagement to new heights at COP26. Across the two weeks in Glasgow, the pavilion hosted a delegation of more than 400 local and regional leaders—and engaged 2,258 participants in 50 events, both in-person and virtually for the first time. By cementing our space in the Blue Zone (the official negotiating zone at COP), the LGMA with Scotland positioned ourselves for greater influence.

COP26 on-demand: Re-watch the action

The Multilevel Action Pavilion hosted 60+ sessions over the two-week long COP26. The on-demand session recordings mean you can re-watch and keep enjoying front row coverage of the dialogues,  debates and decisions that made waves at COP26. Access the session recordings here.

From COP26 to COP27 in Egypt

The Glasgow Climate Pact left many with mixed feelings. While it moved forward on climate plans and showed promising commitment to multilevel action in the second phase of the Paris Agreement, it failed to encapsulate the “emergency mode” that the climate crisis necessitates.

This “emergency mode” action is what will be looked for as Parties of the Convention commit to strengthen their 2030 targets before the end of 2022 and as they prepare for COP27 in Egypt.

In his forward-looking video, Yunus Arikan, LGMA Focal Point and Head of Advocacy at ICLEI, reflects on the outcomes of COP26 and previews what is in store for “The Implementation COP” in Egypt.

[Download the presentation | Watch the afternoon recording]

LGMA COP26 Roadmap: Implementing multilevel action in the age of climate emergency

The first cycle of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for achieving the Paris Agreement’s climate goals did not go far enough towards attaining key goals such as climate neutrality, limiting global warming increases to 1.5°C or further multilevel action. During COP26, the LGMA pushed for reformulation and ambitious advancement of the NDCs by all nations, with collaboration across governance levels, from local to national.

The LGMA Constituency has always advocated strongly for this collaboration, bringing four outcome-oriented focus areas to COP26, the ‘Multilevel Action COP’, in its LGMA COP26 Roadmap  in November 2021.

Streamlined subnational advocacy: The LGMA’s advocacy agenda for COP26

Building on the recognition of importance of engagement of all levels of governments in the preamble of the Paris Agreement, the next phase of global climate efforts needs to have multilevel action at its core, focusing on bridging nationally determined contributions with local and regional climate action plans with campaigns like Race to Zero and Race to Resilience.. The LGMA hopes and expects to see more examples of multilevel collaboration in the national commitments and plans, like in the US, Dominican Republic, Japan, S.Korea, Rwanda, Chile, EU, UK and others. Post COVID-19 recovery plans will be another key area where the LGMA will be pushing to COP26 parties to align green recovery plans with NDCs.

As urban populations increase and continue to be the most significant emitters of GHG emissions and prone to extreme climate disasters, urbanization has to be top of the agenda for climate action and financing. Rules on how to operationalize both market and non-market mechanisms in Article 6 of COP25 negotiations are not hard and fast. This year, ambition needs to be raised and  schemes such as urban emissions trading schemes or have to be incentivized. Sustainable urbanization should be considered as one of the non-market mechanisms to support planning and redesign urban planning especially in the Global South where most of the new urbanization will boom. Capacity of subnational institutions should be strengthened so that divestment from fossil fuels, climate finance, development finance, national COVID-19 green recovery finance, and private finance effectively, directly, and rapidly contribute to the redesign of urban spaces and build sustainable, integrated urban and territorial development around the world.

Outcomes from COP26 have to foster just climate action. LGMA is canvassing for a holistic approach to be taken, which acknowledges the interrelations of issues like food, biodiversity, housing, mobility, sustainable consumption, circular economy, culture, intergenerational equity, skills,  informal settlements, migration, social justice and health with climate action and which seeks to regulate the feedback loops in a socially just and nature-friendly way.

The final focus area of the COP26 roadmap reiterates the precondition of LGMA engagement across UNFCCC processes to ensure that the outcomes from Glasgow are transposed to the regional and local level and can be successfully operationalized. In addition to enhanced and long term engagement at the Marrakech Partnership and the work of High Level Action Champions, the LGMA looks forward to seeing greater cooperation with UNFCCC bodies on finance, capacity building, public awareness and participation, loss and damage, adaptation, and others which set out the essential procedures and mechanisms to operationalize the Paris Agreement.


Deep dive into the LGMA journey towards COP26 with these additional videos and recordings from milestones events.

Webinar series towards COP26

Paris Agreement 5th anniversary

Briefing SB Chairs with observers

Presidency’s Open Dialogue

Roundtable on pre-2020

Webinar series towards COP26

Paris Agreement 5th anniversary

Briefing SB Chairs with observers

Presidency’s Open Dialogue

Roundtable on pre-2020


The LGMA would like to thank their partners and sponsors of the Multilevel Action Pavilion for their continued collaboration and support.