Advocacy Outcomes

Cities and regions in the climate negotiation process

Advocating for local and regional governments in the climate negotiations process

While the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency has represented local and regional governments at the processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since the first Conference of Parties (COP) in 1995, it was at the Earth Summit in 1992 that nine stakeholder groups, including local authorities, were designated as essential partners in society for the implementation of global sustainability agenda. Here are some of the outcomes of the advocacy agenda for cities and regions in that time.


Climate advocacy for local and regional governments

We need multilevel climate action to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius and avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Cities play a decisive role in the global response to climate change. They are responsible for more than 70 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and are experiencing some of the worst effects of climate change.

It is critical that national climate policy incorporates a strong urban component, and that all levels of government jointly shape, align and implement climate policy at all levels to harness the potential of our urban world.

Multilevel governance: A key component of national climate policy

Under the Paris Agreement, nations are expected to submit targets every five years, and to increase the level of ambition with each submission. With a multilevel governance approach, we can narrow the gap between current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the emissions reductions needed to achieve global targets.

We know from the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 Degrees that it is critical that we ratchet up global climate action as quickly as possible.

By joining together and consolidating their commitments, all levels of government can progressively raise their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

The ultimate aim is to make multilevel governance a mainstream part of climate action.

Advocacy Outcomes

Cities and regions have become important global players in the climate negotiations process.

Paris Agreement recognizes the role of cities

The Paris Agreement, in its preamble, recognizes the importance of the engagement of all levels of government. The fact that 185 Parties out of the 197 Parties to the UNFCCC have ratified the Paris Agreement establishes a strong indication of the momentum towards strengthening multilevel governance on climate action.

On 12 December 2015, nations at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) adopted a landmark “Paris Agreement” that strives to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, with the intent to pursue a 1.5-degree target. Through this Agreement, local and subnational governments are recognized as essential actors in fast tracking transformative action in the urban world.

Talanoa Dialogues at COP23

Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues are developed as a bottom-up, pro-active and immediate response to the COP23 decision in 2017 to convene year-long, inclusive Talanoa Dialogues.

Local and regional governments answered the call from the Fijian COP23 Presidency for open and inclusive dialogues and have implemented the Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues as a means to make multilevel governance a core component of climate action worldwide.

The Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues are a key focus of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency to the United Nations Frameworks Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). With ICLEI as its focal point, the LGMA aims to ensure that climate action is coordinated across all levels of government.

Katowice enshrines Talanoa Dialogues

COP24 in Katowice invited Parties to consider the outcome, inputs and outputs of the Talanoa Dialogue in preparing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and in their efforts to enhance pre-2020 implementation and ambition.

The LGMA brought the results of the Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues to COP24, the 24th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland. By demonstrating the momentum built by these dialogues, the LGMA made the case for these conversations to continue well beyond 2018, while highlighting replicable processes and outcomes that all levels of government can incorporate into climate policy.

COP25: Desired Outcomes

For this Chilean COP held in Madrid, the focus was on building up the ambition for revised NDCs in 2020 (now 2021). Local governments showed their aligned actions and commitments to advance towards this important deadline.