PARIS, 12 December 2015] The unanimously approved Paris Agreement strives to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, with the intent to pursue a 1.5-degree target. Through this Agreement, local and subnational governments are recognized as essential actors in fast tracking transformative action in the urban world.
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability welcomes the landmark commitments of 185 nations to curb the trajectory of current and future global greenhouse gas emissions. While these agreed national contributions are a strong basis for action, they do not yet keep global warming below the 2-degree Celsius threshold. National governments must therefore resolve to achieve stronger climate commitments.
The Paris Agreement answers ICLEI’s call for nations to review, every five years, their commitments to keep greenhouse gas emissions trajectories well below 2 degrees Celsius. This process of accountability will safeguard, in particular, the most vulnerable populations and small island nations that suffer from the impacts of climate change they have not caused. ICLEI supports that least developed and developing countries must be entitled to peak their emissions within the context of shared but differentiated responsibility.
Through this Agreement, nations have yet to provide an ambitious response to end a fossil-dependent era, despite the unstoppable transformation into an urban development model based on 100% renewables. ICLEI expects that nations urgently signal to industry and the private sector that the fossil fuel-dependent era is ending.
As the focal point of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency to the UNFCCC for 25 years and the facilitator of the Local Government Climate Roadmap since 2007, ICLEI has successfully advanced the recognition of local and subnational action and asks for further support for their contributions to implementing the Agreement.
Secretary General of ICLEI, Gino Van Begin stated, “The Paris agreement affirms engagement with all levels of government, and this inclusiveness will strengthen the power of the global coalition that will build a climate-safe and resilient future for communities across the world.”
Technical and financial support committed through the Paris Agreement will capacitate local and subnational governments to act boldly, swiftly and purposefully on climate. Immediate allocation of necessary resources to transformative local and subnational plans will accelerate implementation of pre-2020 action. The Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) can be a supporting mechanism to this end.
Nations must now urgently unlock the necessary USD 100 billion per year to support implementation of national commitments in developing countries and earmark USD 35 billion for adaptation. Nations must also still build a robust framework for loss-and-damage that prioritizes the needs of vulnerable cities and regions. ICLEI looks toward the Warsaw International Mechanism to fill this gap with provision of public and private financing mechanisms.
ICLEI will continue to mobilize political commitments to address climate change in cities across the world, support transformative action plans that integrate climate into all dimensions of urban sustainability and seek necessary financing for projects that will complement and fast track the Paris Agreement.