- World Resources Institute
The session will contribute to advancing linkages and synergies between sustainable development, climate change and cities, and aims to bring together key urban stakeholders to identify priorities for co-production of actionable knowledge. The session is expected to partially answer why subnational actions on SDG 11 and SDG 13 are or are not implemented at scale, what institutional constraints they face, and how to best address them.
Cities represent major opportunities to reduce climate emissions and enhance climate resilience while improving the quality of life of their citizens. As of now, despite many local climate action plans, there is little understanding of the specific steps of implementation. Consequently, there are underutilized opportunities for increasing uptake of ambition, and comparisons between cities are difficult to make. Additionally, the coalition of cities is quite diverse in scope, and a conceptual streamlining of mitigation and efforts seems desirable for groups of similar cities. Since last year, the process of integrating strategies of cities with those on the national level has gained additional momentum through the adoption of the New Urban Agenda.
While many studies claim that cities are playing an important role in - traditionally internationally oriented - climate action, in practice it requires close multi-level coordination among governments, from the national government to states or provinces, districts, cities, and wards or boroughs. None of these national and subnational entities have full jurisdiction on all climate planning and related activities. Therefore, design and implementation of policies, finance, programs and projects need to be integrated vertically along all levels of government. In most cases, it is neither a top-down nor bottom-up interaction, but rather subnational and national entities co-constituting climate governance in reciprocal and complex interactions in both directions.