LGMA intervention at the Ministerial “Driving integrated implementation of national climate and biodiversity frameworks for 2030 action”

Kobie Brand, Regional Director ICLEI Africa Secretariat | ICLEI Deputy Secretary General

Saturday 9 December 2023 | 14:00

Distinguished guests, I address you on behalf of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency. We want to congratulate you on the release of the Join Statement on Climate, Nature and People today, see here.

It is vital to mobilise multilevel governance processes in climate and biodiversity agendas, that enhance collaboration among national and all levels of subnational governments.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework endorses a whole of government approach and its Target 12 recognises cities’ critical role in improving citizens’ health and wellbeing.

While the Nationally Determined Contributions have driven progress, their ability to deliver fast action remains uncertain. We must accelerate integration and ambition, as underlined by the first Global Stocktake and the 2023 UNEP Emissions Gap Report.

The third NDCs round for COP30, and the updated NBSAPs to be submitted next year, are major opportunities to strengthen multilevel governance by involving subnational governments in both their formulation and implementation. 

Profound shifts, transformative change and action are needed now to achieve radical implementation of climate and biodiversity targets and much of this needs to happen in and around our cities in a rapidly urbanising world. Let’s recall that we are building a new Nairobi every 16 days, a new Sao Paulo every 48 days or an entire new Guangzhou every two months. The decisions of the Parties gathered at COP28 and at COP16 will decide how the development will unfold.

To move from consensus to implementation, international climate finance is crucial. Subnational governments have a crucial role to play in directing climate finance to where it is needed most – on the ground – by developing bankable projects, aligned to national targets, that can attract climate finance, accessible also to these local levels of government.

Now more than ever, it is clear that multilevel collaboration is the only way we can hope to respond effectively to both the climate and biodiversity crises already felt at the urban and territorial scales.

Because the very existence of our world is threatened, we must also promote stakeholder cooperation in proactively addressing climate and biodiversity crises. That is exactly what ICLEI is doing.

I am pleased to share that, as an example, ICLEI is partnering with UNEP and the World Bank on the “Urban Nature Programme” launched here at COP to unlock and scale finance for integrated climate and nature solutions in cities, while we enable subnational governments to report progress against their biodiversity commitments, and contributions to NBSAPs, on the CBD endorsed Cities- and RegionsWithNature Action Platform, aligned to the GBF.

We congratulate those 66 Parties that have already endorsed the Coalition of High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (CHAMP), here at COP28. We call on Parties, under the leadership of the COP28 Presidency, to state clearly and explicitly in the Global Stocktake Outcome texts, the need to advance multilevel action in the new NDCs towards 2025.

Let us make history here at COP28 towards 2030, by not only setting humanity on course for a net-zero climate future but also a nature positive world. Our subnational community is ready to work with you all to achieve this.

We congratulate the COP28 Presidency, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and Bloomberg Philanthropies and others on hosting a Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change, which convened more than 1000 attendees, including 40 Ministers and more than 200 subnational leaders in collaboration with the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency to the UNFCCC.

I thank you.