Collaborating for climate: Why our cities and regions are key for ambitious national action

By Climate Champions | June 4, 2024

The importance of climate action by cities, states and regions will be high on the agenda at the  60th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB 60), beginning today in Bonn.

UN Climate Change High-Level Champions for COP28 and COP29, HE Razan Al Mubarak, and Nigar Arpadarai, have expressed their support for engaging all levels of governance in the development and implementation of enhanced national climate action plans (NDCs) ahead of COP30 in Belem.

Building on the Coalition for High Ambition Multi-level Partnerships (CHAMP) launched at COP28 in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the High-Level Champions will engage with a number of key actors in Bonn to amplify the commitment made by 72 countries to work in partnership with their subnational governments to help accelerate local level climate action.

Indeed, many countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement have targets reliant on implementation by cities, states and regions. 

As delegates gather in Bonn, there is a critical window of opportunity to showcase the leadership of subnational governments on multiple fronts including decarbonising buildings, energy, transport, water and waste and increasing the resilience of vulnerable communities across the globe. 

In addition, this year is also an important moment to ensure NDCs are aligned with other key policies which are pivotal for achieving our shared vision of a net-zero, nature-positive world by 2030. These include National Biodiversity and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).

In a year of three Rio convention conferences – Climate, Desertification and Biodiversity, current efforts by  subnational governments to implement effective climate solutions can support governments to enhance and implement their national policy, especially when they are empowered and included in the policy development and implementation planning stages. 

For example, ahead of COP28, 26 cities including 13 in developing countries, hosted “Local Stocktakes”  to ensure cross-cutting engagement between tiers of government, as well as with civil society, academia, and the private sector to address opportunities on local commitments, NDCs and climate justice. 

Of these, 16  were led by Cities Race to Zero or Cities Race to Resilience members – once again proving that cities in the HLC-led Campaigns are already leading on multi-level governance processes.

The High-Level Champions are honoured to be convening national, subnational and local governments in Bonn,  including at an event for endorsers of the CHAMP pledge, a public event on multilevel action, and a dialogue on how effective multi-level partnerships can work to enhance Nationally Determined Contributions.

Through partners of the Race to Zero and the Race to Resilience campaigns, and within the Local Governments and Municipal Constituency (LGMA) to the UNFCCC, as well as key delivery partners of CHAMP,  including ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, C40 Cities, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM), United Cities and Local Governance (UCLG), Regions4, Under2 Coalition together with the NDC Partnership, UN-Habitat, World Resources Institute, WWF and CDP, the High-Level Champions will continue to drive collaboration across the ecosystem to increase technical support and capacity building, evidence and share best practice, and showcase the critical bottom- up delivery of existing NDC targets. 

An example of such bottom-up delivery includes via Voluntary Local Reviews (or VLRs) – an innovative self-assessment process for subnational governments to review and report on SDG progress in their territory. By 2024, 174 cities had produced VLRs, with Cities Race to Zero member Buenos Aires being the first city to produce one annually

Thank you to all networks and partners for their collaboration in accelerating multilevel climate action and support in implementing CHAMP, as an investment in our society, economy and planet.


إليكم سبب وجوب دمج الطبيعة في البنية التحتية الحضرية

من ضمن الالتزامات العديدة الرائدة التي تم الاستماع إليها في قمة المناخ COP26 إلى نتائج الجزء الأول من اتفاقية التنوع البيولوجي COP15 في أكتوبر الماضي ، هناك اعتراف متزايد بأن معظم التحديات العالمية التي تؤثر علينا، مثل المناخ المتشابك وحالات الطوارئ الطبيعية، يمكن معالجتها من خلال روابطها الحضرية.