Local and regional governments commit to climate action at COP 21

The 21st Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) will be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December. As well as a climate agreement between UN Member States, the COP 21 will see a number of other important commitments to climate action by local and regional governments.

As always UCLG and its sister organizations, in particular ICLEI and C40 are making sure that the voice of local and regional governments is heard in all negotiations. UCLG is also emphasizing the need to link climate action to the 2030 and Habitat III Agendas and the importance of citizen participation and inclusive social policies to ensure the effective implementation of the sustainability agenda in its broadest sense.

In addition to the official Local and Regional Leaders Delegation to COP21, highlights include 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.

[Take a look at the UCLG Programme of activities in Paris]

What is at stake?

Negotiated COP21 text by UN Member States

The latest version of the negotiated COP21 text commits to "recognizing the important role that subnational and local authorities, as well as non-state actors and the private sector, play in addressing climate change". The draft agreement and decision(s)  are expected to form the basis of the Paris Climate Package are available online.

Paris Pledge for Action

The Paris Pledge for Action invites non state actors to support the outcomes of the Conference. It also invites them to contribute to global efforts to remain under the 2 degrees target by taking concrete steps immediately, without waiting for the COP21 agreement to enter into force in 2020.

The Paris City Hall Declaration

Representatives of cities, regions and local governments from around the world will gather for a Climate Summit for Local Leaders at Paris City Hall on 4 December, at the invitation of Mayor of Paris and UCLG Co-President, Anne Hidalgo.

This gathering will culminate with the Paris City Hall Declaration, which reaffirms the commitment of city and regional leaders to act to tackle climate disruption. The Declaration recalls the common responsibility of all to act, calling cities and regions to engage in actions and partnerships to deliver up to 25% of the reductions required to close the gap between the COP21 agreement and the 2 degrees target. It also recalls significant existing local government initiatives (the Compact of Mayors, the Covenant of Mayors, the Compact of States and Regions, the Local Government Climate Roadmap and the NAZCA platform).

World Summit on Climate and Territories follow-up

The World Summit Climate and Territories Steering Committee met on 18 November and decided to make a joint declaration by Non-Party stakeholders’ in Paris. The declaration, based on the Lyon Declaration, should be formally adopted during the event “From the World Summit on Climate and Territories to the COP21 and beyond: proposals and joint action of Non-Party stakeholders” on the morning of 2 December.

Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA)

The COP Presidencies have recognized non-state actors – civil society, the private sector and local and regional governments – as key to the implementation of the climate agreements and have been trying to give more space to non-state actors in the official segment of the negotiations.

This has led to the launch of the Non State Actors Zone – NAZCA platform at the COP 20 in Lima in December 2014, which invites non state actors to register their actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Action and Cities Days at COP 21

The COP21 will include a number of Action Days focusing on issues and actors related to climate change. Local and regional government will participate in the LPAA Action Day on 5 December with eight other stakeholder groups and Member States, where we will communicate the messages adopted at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders.

Local and regional governments will also be active at the Cities Day on 8 December, where all local and regional government networks and partners, including the private sector, have been invited to present their initiatives and endorse the Paris Action Statement.

A strong mobilization of local and regional governments in Paris is vital to showcase the huge potential of our constituency to implement practical solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as to foster sustainable development with a strong social dimension, based on citizen participation. 

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

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