- Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany
The Paris Declaration recognises the importance of cities and other so-called non-state actors in reaching international climate goals. Two-thirds of the National Determined Contributions (NDCs) already list urban fields of action in their national priorities. But this high level of attention, especially among rapidly urbanising countries, must still be underscored with action. In this sense, the role and importance of cities in climate related issues also still calls for more in-depth knowledge generation, as does their significance in implementing National Determined Contributions.
Accounting for approximately 80 per cent of the energy consumption and generating three quarters of the energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, the importance of cities for international climate and development policy cannot be underestimated. Behind this background, cities play a significant role for the implementation of the NDCs. And yet, specific targets, conducive national urban policies and sub-national action plans as well as incentive schemes still need to be established in many countries to unleash the full potential of cities' contributions to a more resilient and low-carbon urbanization, as well as, ultimately, to achieving the global 1.5 degree climate goal. Even frontrunner cities in the global South (for instance in South Africa) are grappling with barriers in the climate governance set-up.
What needs to be done to advance action? Various potential actions come up such as following positive examples from selected countries; supporting development of enabling frameworks at national level; step up capacity building efforts at local level (planning, financing, participation, peer learning, local-national dialogue etc.); enhance access to finance for local climate action.
This event will highlight the relevance of urban contributions to climate change mitigation and adaptation and discuss the drivers and challenges for climate action led by cities. Experts from the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), UN Habitat as well as from the IPCC will highlight these aspects. The event will feature examples of municipal climate action facilitated by international development cooperation. The C40 network will showcase concrete local examples from the city level. This input will include local potentials and obstacles. The event will also focus on further enabling factors for local implementation, especially the issue of local climate finance and private sector participation. A representative of the Green Climate Fund, a central pillar in international climate finance, will give insights and future perspectives for financing local climate action. Furthermore, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) explains potentials and obstacles for private sector engagement in sustainable, climate friendly urban development.