LGMA COP28 intervention at COP28 joint opening plenary

Yunus Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

Thursday 30 November 2023 | Watch the recording (starts at 4:07:00)

Mister Chair, distinguished delegates,

My name is Yunus Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and I am delivering this statement in my capacity as the LGMA Focal Point.

Correcting course on climate change requires nothing less than a full-scale coordination and mutual support between local, state, national and global leaders – this is exactly the message of the towns, cities, regions, and their networks towards COP28 announced today.

Lets remember: Since COP21 thousands of cities and regions have declared climate emergencies, adopted ambitious targets and helped to elevate national commitments. – Therefore we say Multilevel Action is critical for 1.5oC goal.

Lets remember: Only 24% of existing NDCs in national climate pledges under the 2015 Paris Agreement include strong urban content. – therefore we say Urbanization can bridge climate goals and action.

Lets remember: Everyone will feel effects of climate change but it is the most vulnerable who will be hit hardest – therefore we say Lets act on loss and damage together.

Throughout 2023, from Amazons Forum to African Climate Summit, or to the first ever G7 Roundtable on Subnational Climate Action with U7, we have seen so many good examples that call for multilevel collaboration.

On the way to Dubai, cities and regions across all continents convened their stocktakes, focusing on local commitments, interaction with their national plans and addressing climate justice domestically and globally.

We are also encouraged by numerous references to multilevel action and urbanization in the GST submissions of a solid majority of Parties.

And here in Dubai, we are pleased to see launch of the Loss-and-Damage-Fund, where subnational action once again demonstrated its leadership since COP26 in Glasgow.

That is why the LGMA Constituency is strongly supporting the Local Climate Action Summit by COP28 Presidency and Michael Bloomberg alongside with the World Climate Action Summit.

Tomorrow afternoon, we look forward to a strong launch of the CHAMP Initiative of the COP28 Presidency on multilevel action towards COP30 in 2025 by a broad diversity and scale of endorsing nations.

Through the 2nd Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate later in the week, we are eager to connect this political commitment to global climate action agenda.

Here in Dubai, we expect UNFCCC negotiators to cement these achievements in the outcomes of COP28 so that multilevel action and urbanization becomes an integral element of the new era of climate emergency action.

Within this spirit, we also would like to commend the inclusive consultations carried out by the COP28 Presidency and their support to ensure our effective engagement through innovative practices.

I thank you.