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ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

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COP28 Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (CHAMP) for Climate Action

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As the world grapples with the harsh reality of falling off the Paris Agreement track, the COP28 Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (CHAMP) for Climate Action, provides a ray of hope for getting back on track. The initiative commits endorsing countries to enhance cooperation with their local, regional and other subnational governments – including cities, towns, states and regions – to collectively pursue efforts to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT

What are the goals of CHAMP?

The goal of the pledge is to help nations to achieve Paris Agreement goals, by working with local and other subnational governments for planning, financing and implementation of climate strategies and actions. CHAMP shows that leaders at every level are working together to solve the climate crisis.

CHAMP was developed in consultation with subnational leaders and stakeholders, including America Is All In, Bloomberg Philanthropies, C40 Cities, CDP, European Climate Foundation, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, ICLEI, NDC Partnership, UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, Under2 Coalition, UN-Habitat, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and others.

Through the advocacy work of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency to the UNFCCC, with ICLEI serving as its focal point, CHAMP’s multilevel action spirit is reflected in paragraph 161 of the COP28 Global Stocktake decision that urges Parties to engage in inclusive, multilevel, cooperative action, as well as in other relevant paragraphs of the COP28 UAE Consensus.

Why is CHAMP important?

In response to the urgent need for increased coordination to catalyze greater ambition and action, the COP28 Presidency launched the Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships for Climate Action (CHAMP) during the first Local Climate Action Summit.

CHAMP, which has been signed by 72 countries, is an effort intended to enhance cooperation with subnational governments in financing, implementation, and the monitoring of climate strategies. It includes the development of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and Long-Term Low-Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS), to maximize climate action efforts.

The second Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change, co-hosted by UN-Habitat, the COP28 Presidency, and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, convened over 1000 attendees, including 40 Ministers and 200 subnational leaders in collaboration with the LGMA Constituency. Aiming to reinforce the importance of multilevel climate action, commitments made at the Meeting include active participation in the CHAMP initiative. In addition, practices and lessons learned in implementing the CHAMP commitments will be shared during the upcoming Ministerial Meetings at COP29 and COP30.

The Pledge

To achieve these objectives, CHAMP offers six priority areas of commitment

  • The consultation of subnational governments to determine the areas for subnational action (adaptation, strategies, implementation, monitoring)

  • Working together with subnational governments to unlock and realize mitigation and adaptation action opportunities at the subnational level (review, design, enhancement, consolidation, and implementation)

  • Creating inclusive institutional and informal processes to enable subnational governments to contribute to further enhancing NDCs ahead of COP30 in 2025 (integration of local and territorial baseline information, targets and action for emissions mitigation and adaptation across all sectors and industries)

  • Including subnational government projects in climate-related investment priorities striving to help secure the resources necessary from public and private financial institutions (supporting project preparation, pipeline development, aggregation of projects, new financial instruments, or policy reform at local, national, regional and global levels)

  • Undertaking regular and inclusive country-led reviews of progress at national and subnational levels around the implementation of CHAMP commitments through existing processes, i.e. Voluntary National Review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure that national policy frameworks support an accelerated ambitious multilevel climate action

  • Meeting with representative subnational leaders at a global High-Level Political Dialogue on Multilevel Climate Action in the lead-up to both COP29 and COP30 to share good practices and lessons learned in implementing the CHAMP commitments as a contribution to the Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change

Implementing CHAMP ahead of the next round of NDCs

ICLEI commends the unprecedented inclusion of local and regional governments in significant discussions and events at COP28, particularly through CHAMP, reflecting a robust integration of these governments into the climate action framework. Key events like Daring Cities 2024 and the ICLEI World Congress 2024 will take stock of subnational climate efforts and encourage collaboration with governments supporting CHAMP, building momentum for the future COPs in Baku and Belém.

In the time from COP28 to COP30, nations will recalibrate their climate goals, and the hope is, to realize the indispensable role of subnational governments. With endorsements from 70+ countries, CHAMP is not merely an initiative; it’s a powerful movement bridging the voices of cities and regions to reignite global climate ambitions.

ICLEI is working with many partners to assist our national, regional and local government partners to implement CHAMP effectively.

In addition, as the focal point for the LGMA Constituency, ICLEI promotes and provides updates on the CHAMP initiative through the LGMA’s monthly webinars and bulletins.

Under the theme “Powering collective action to respond to the climate emergency,” Daring Cities 2024 will identify pathways for integrating local actions into national and international climate agendas.

Given ICLEI’s well-established relationship with the NDC Partnership and their work with national governments to realize the Paris Agreement, Daring Cities 2024 will facilitate national government involvement with local and subnational governments, through in-person and online exchanges. Consequently, Daring Cities 2024 anticipates a significant outcome that will advance toward implementing the CHAMP Initiative.

Watch two in-depth webinars reflecting on how CHAMP is shaping the global climate agenda by connecting local climate emergency action to national and global efforts.

Over the course of COP28, 70+ Parties committed to enhancing cooperation with subnational governments in the planning, financing, implementation, and monitoring of climate strategies through CHAMP, led by the COP28 Presidency. Over the next two years, from Dubai to Belém, CHAMP signatories will embark on multilevel consultation to ensure the second generation of NDCs are prepared alongside subnational leaders.

We envision local stocktakes (and future iterations known as “Town Hall COPs”), as a part of this effort. The #Stocktake4ClimateEmergency initiative incorporated a critical local perspective into the broader UNFCCC Global Stocktake exercise. Its local stocktake pilot, with 26 cities across 18 countries and 6 continents, demonstrated the power, feasibility and value of multilevel stakeholder engagement.

During the sixth session of the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-6), held last February in Nairobi, Kenya, the COP28 Presidency hosted an informal CHAMP dialogue in collaboration with UNEP, UN-Habitat, and ICLEI, serving as the LGMA’s focal point. Representatives from CHAMP endorsers Bangladesh, Canada, Germany, Brazil, and Italy, along with the Government of Québec from LGMA and the UNFCCC Secretariat, participated in the discussion.

At ICLEI’s side event, “Multilevel Action and Urbanization: Safeguarding the Delivery of Multilateral Environmental Agreements,” one of the topics discussed was the implementation of the CHAMP initiative, highlighting that local and regional governments are key for all national commitments and global goals.

UN-Habitat report reveals opportunity to enhance the urban content of NDCs

An analysis into the CHAMP-endorsing countries revealed that based on the NDC Urban content, 2/3 of countries display low or moderate urban content in their NDCs. Therefore, it leaves room to integrate more urban priorities (i.e. mitigation and adaptation measures tailored to urban areas) in the next NDC revision cycle in 2025 at COP30 in Belém in Brazil.

The report highlights opportunities to enhance climate action and reflects on the countries that have the biggest potential to work towards a stronger integration of urban content in their NDCs. It also explains how countries can reap co-benefits of sustainable urban development, introduce effective local adaptation measures, and reduce emissions by stronger collaboration with local governments to integrate urban priorities into national climate plans.

Download the report
Resources

Learn more about CHAMP

COP28 Session: “From commitment to delivery: Financing multilevel action”

Ahead of the second Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change on 5 December, ICLEI and GCoM delved into how global climate finance could translate into local climate action. Along with representatives from the COP28 Presidency, the World Bank, the European Committee of the Regions, and CHAMP endorsers from Germany, the Dominican Republic, and Rwanda, the discussion centered on the clear gap between the actions taken by local and regional governments at the forefront of climate change and the commitments made at national and global levels. According to the participants, this is precisely where CHAMP comes into play and serves as the main reason to endorse the initiative.

Watch the recording
COP28 Session: “Operationalizing the Ministerial Meeting: Catalyzing urban transformation on the road to COP30”

Right after the Ministerial, on 6 December, ICLEI and UN-Habitat co-hosted this session to reflect on the status of negotiations and to discuss the Ministerial’s outcomes, where Ministers of housing, urban development, and environment, in addition to local leaders and other experts, committed to endorsed the CHAMP initiative.

Watch the recording
COP28 Session: "Bridging urban narratives: Amplifying city voices via SURGe, CHAMP, and beyond"

Co-hosted by ICLEI and UN-Habitat on 10 December, this session focused on two COP initiatives: COP27’s SURGe, developed in collaboration with UN-Habitat and facilitated by ICLEI, and COP28’s CHAMP. The discussion reflected on multilevel action integration in the global climate agenda, emphasizing insights from the first and second Ministerial Meetings and the commitments outlined in the CHAMP initiative.

Watch the recording
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