LGA/LGMA statement to UK COP26 Presidency in Plenary on Informal Stock-Take(Monday 8 November 2021)

Delivered by Pippa Heylings, member of the national cross party Climate Change Task Group for of Local Government Association, on behalf of the Local Government and Municipal Authorities (LGMA).

I am Pippa Heylings, member of the national cross-party Climate Change Task Group of Local Government Association representing over 300 local councils across England and Wales, and speaking on behalf of the LGMA constituency.

The Preamble to the Glasgow Agreement is very important, encompassing the Principles that frame both the ambition and the action needed to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees. We hope that the inclusivity shown in the current proposed text with the recognition of youth and indigenous peoples and the importance of working through international cooperation is maintained. However, the current text of the Preamble creates a silent and invisible constituency and misses a key piece of cooperation and coordination: one that is critical for delivering net zero and for ratcheting up ambition every year: the massive constituency in every country of local and regional government and municipal authorities.

Multilevel coordination across local, regional, national and international government is now the new norm – and, as such, needs to be recognised explicitly in the Preamble to the Glasgow Agreement, providing consistency with Preamble paragraph 15 of the Paris agreement. The Paris agreememt recognised Multilevel collaboration, Glasgow should now ensure that multilevel action is delivered.

We welcome the relative increase in ambition in a number of countries from both Global North and South since 2015. Such ambition has been made possible because they now include subnational commitments and action.

As place-shapers, only local government holds the wide range of delivery powers and assets – and the potential for market and non-market mechanisms to finance action at scale – that are necessary to decarbonise transport, buildings, waste and generate nature-based solutions in and around the urban landscape.