Climate change: why local and regional governments will be key players at COP21

The 21st United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) takes place from 30 November to 11 December, 2015 at Paris-Le Bourget.  Thousands of mayors and local leaders will come together in Paris, from 3-8 December, to strengthen the voices of local and regional governmentsThe UCLG network of Regional Sections, Committees and partners will mobilize for these events. 

The COP21 is a crucial conference for global sustainability. Over the coming years it aims at achieving the first universal and legally binding agreement to combat climate change and boost the transition to more resilient, low-carbon societies and economies.

How will the agreement achieve these goals? By focusing on mitigation efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limiting global warming to levels below 2°C and by adapting society to existing changes in our climate. The agreement will enter into force in 2020 and will need to be sustainable in order to guarantee long-term change.

During the COP21 representatives of cities, regions and local governments from around the world will gather at the Hotel de Ville in Paris- at the invitation of the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, Co-President of UCLG- committed to taking definitive actions by 2020.

Local and regional governments, as the level of government closest to citizens, have the expertise to act on issues as diverse as urban planning, consumption, transport and environmental quality, as well as combatting 70% of all global CO2 emissions related to the daily life of city residents. Their participation cannot, therefore, be overlooked.

This is why United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), with their long track record of local innovation and international collaboration put local and regional authorities in unique position to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change.

"Despite the tragic events that took place last week in the city of Paris, our World Council meeting and Climate Summit for Local Leaders will go ahead as planned.  We believe that continuing with these events as scheduled is the best way to show our solidarity with the people of Paris at this difficult time.

The UCLG World Secretariat

In addition to the official Local and Regional Leaders Delegation to COP21, highlights will include a Climate Summit for Local Leaders, meetings of the UCLG World Council and Executive Bureau, a session on Women’s Leadership and Development, and a range of parallel events organized by UCLG Committees, members and partners of the Global Taskforce of Local, and Regional Governments.

The hashtags for our meetings in Paris are #UCLGMeets #Cities4Climate; find tweets @uclg_org

How can I find out more?

Related News