Local and regional Governments Delegation at COP21 ministerial negotiations

© Dominique Faget, AFP | A picture taken on October 30, 2015 shows stickers of the COP21, in Paris, ahead of the Climate Change Conference 2015.

On 7-8 November 2015, the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities constituency (LGMA) participated in a high-level dialogue with UN Member States and other stakeholders as part of the ministerial talks on climate change ahead of the COP21 climate conference in Paris.

At the invitation of the Presidency of the COP20 (Peru) and the COP 21 (France), Bernard Soulage, Vice President of Rhône-Alpes Region, represented local government networks in the discussions. He called for ambitious and inclusive climate pledges that go beyond individual Member State commitments through the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). This will be essential to keep global temperature rises below two degrees.

Soulage warned that a failure of the UNFCCC process and neglect of the issue of environmental sustainability by the international community would put the achievement of the 2030 development agenda at risk.

The LGMA has reasons to be optimistic about the capacity of the COP21 Presidency to reach fruitful outcomes at the conference:

  • There is unprecedented mobilization and engagement of subnational governments and civil society in climate negotiations leading up to the COP21.
  • The latest draft text issued from the climate talks (Bonn, October 2015) recognizes the role of local governments in more than 50% of the INDCs.

We particularly welcome the support we have received through the Lima Paris Action Agenda process and call for the new climate agenda to be based on a multistakeholder governance framework, in line with François Hollande's statement at the World Summit Climate and Territories in Lyon in July 2015.

However, local and regional government networks believe that the new regime must be more ambitious and that it should include quantifiable objectives on carbon neutrality, 100% renewable energies and adaptation. The international community should also adopt a framework to address loss and damages due to climate change.

The Local Governments and Municipal Authorities constituency hopes that the new climate regime will acknowledge and engage all non- state stakeholders in global climate initiatives,  particularly local and regional governments. 

Local and regional governments at COP21 in Paris

Local and regional governments and our networks will be represented at the Cities and Regions Pavilion during the 2 weeks of the COP 21 to showcase the transformative actions we are already implementing to tackle climate change.

On the 4th of December, local and regional governments will meet at the Climate Summit for Local leaders at Paris City Hall to present all our commitments and results and call on our constituency to meet its ambitious commitments to achieve global sustainability from the bottom up.