At the ongoing UN Warsaw Climate Conference (COP19/CMP9), cities are at the heart of the negotiations scaling up climate action, rather than at the periphery - a direct and positive response of the global climate community to years of advocacy where ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability played a pioneering role.
With the unprecedented 21 November Cities Day, the inaugural Ministerial-Mayors Dialogue, the ADP workshop on sustainable urbanization and numerous other city-related side events, ICLEI welcomes that local and subnational governments have now firmly cemented their role as governmental stakeholders in the global climate arena.
The recent IPCC report confirms that the rate of temperature and sea level rise is increasing. Many national governments and global stakeholders are now turning to cities to step up the pace of actions that will ensure their transformation to low-emission, climate-resilient communities.
“National governments alone cannot tackle all corners of climate action, that’s why cities offer their ambitions, capacities and achievements as governmental stakeholders which should be tapped in the new climate regime. We can guarantee to deliver concrete actions as part of the global deal in Paris 2015. Warsaw is the place kick start this vision, thanks to the support from the Parties, the Polish Presidency, the UNFCCC Secretariat and the City of Warsaw”, remarked ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin.
ICLEI is the focal point of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency to the UNFCCC since 1995. It also facilitates the Local Government Climate Roadmap, the global advocacy process that started in 2007 aimed at recognizing, engaging, and empowering local governments in the global climate regime.
On the way to Warsaw, the World Mayors Summit on Climate Change held in Nantes, France concluded with the Nantes Declaration propelling the second phase of the Roadmap, which builds on on the feats of the first phase like the Mexico City Pact, the Durban Adaptation Charter, the carbonn Cities Climate Registry, and the Global Protocol for Community-Scale GHG Emissions. The Nantes Declaration also defines a clear strategy towards a global deal in Paris 2015, including concrete proposals to be implemented, in particular with the “Friends of Cities” group that brings together national governments who wish to collaborate with local and subnational governments.
“In Nantes, we strengthened and revitalized our global strategy. From Dar-es-Salaam to Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen, we mobilized regional support with the perspectives of climate-vulnerable African communities and inspiring progressive Scandinavian models of low-carbon urbanization. In Warsaw, we will voice all of these to spur the much needed political, financial and technical support from the global climate community”, declared ICLEI President David Cadman.
A full list of city-related events is compiled by ICLEI under the Local Government Climate Roadmap banner and can be accessed at www.iclei.org/climate-roadmap/advocacy/unfccc/2013-warsaw-cop19cmp9.html
Highlighted events include: