LGMA COP28 closing statement

Yunus Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability | LGMA focal point

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Mr President, delegations, colleagues;

Here in Dubai, 100s of towns, cities, regions, together with their leaders, staff and their networks, witnessed and supported leapfrogging of the global climate regime into climate emergency mode.

We commend you Mr. President, High Level Champion Razan Mubarak and all UAE COP28 Team, supported by the UNFCCC Secretariat, for your leadership, vision, passion, hospitality and inclusive approach for this remarkable milestone.

Lets not forget – this new era under the UAE Consensus will be implemented in an urban world.

Therefore, we particularly welcome, in particular, para 161 of the GST and para 9 of GGA with explicit references to multilevel action, and direct subnational access to loss-and-damage, amongst other COP28 outcomes.

We also welcome the Roadmap to Mission1.5oC initiative of the 3 COP presidencies. We hope the COP28 Presidency CHAMP Initiative to enhance multilevel action in 2025 national climate plans can support this effort effectively. Thus, we commend more than 70 nations that endorsed CHAMP initiative and invite others to join towards Belem.

After Dubai, the LGMA will transform the local stocktakes experience into annual “townhall COPs” in thousands of cities and regions globally, as an additional innovation in this era of climate emergency action.

2 days ago, in this plenary hall, Mayor Baaro from Tarawa island in Kiribati asked Ministers to help him for a positive legacy to his 3-years old grandson. We are confident that through the UAE Consensus, Mayor Baaro and more than 500 subnational leaders joining COP28 in Dubai, can offer hope to their community and future generations. Personally, I also believe, here in Dubai, the UNFCCC community assured that we paid our dues to many of our fallen heroes over these years, from Joke Waller Hunter to Hugh Sealy and to Saleem Huq. They can now rest in peace and new generations of changemakers can take this legacy forward.