From Katowice to Sharm El Sheikh, cities and regions are gearing-up diplomacy and multilevel action on climate emergency

Katowice, 30 June 2022

As the World Urban Forum (WUF 11) concludes in Katowice,Poland,  cities and regions advance their advocacy strategy to elevate global climate action into climate emergency under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) towards upcoming 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in November 2022.

At WUF11 in Katowice, in its capacity as the focal point of UNFCCC Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency (LGMA) on behalf of the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments,  ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability announces;

  • Sharon Dijksma, Mayor of Utrecht, the Netherlands as the Special Envoy for COP27 Ministerials,
  • Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, Morocco as the Special Envoy for Africa for COP27,
  • convening of the Multilevel Action Pavilion as the central space of the LGMA Constituency at the COP27 Blue Zone for UNFCCC negotiations;
  • support to the Incoming COP27 Presidency to develop a COP27 Sustainable Cities Initiative to be developed in collaboration with the UN-Habitat and facilitated by ICLEI as the LGMA Focal Point
  • kicking-off the localization of the global stocktake of the Paris Agreement under the motto #Stocktake4ClimateEmergency.

COP27 is announced as the “Implementation COP”, in order to ensure full delivery of the Paris Agreement in the second phase that kicked-off with the adoption of the Glasgow Climate Pact at COP26. The LGMA Constituency announced #MultilevelActionDelivers as the motto towards COP27, building on with the acknowledgement of the urgent need for multilevel and cooperative action under the Glasgow Climate Pact.

On the way WUF11, the UN-Habitat Executive Board mandated the UN-Habitat Executive Director to collaborate with the COP27 Incoming Presidency to convene a ministerial meeting on housing, urban development and sustainable cities and climate change at COP27, which can be recognized as the for the first-ever Climate and Urbanization Ministerial in the history of the UNFCCC process.

“If cities, communities and their governments are at the frontline of tackling the climate emergency, it is inevitable that they must be the key partners of national governments and the United Nations in delivering the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact. As a Mayor and former Minister, I realize that cities are recognized in the global processes but not effectively engaged – i.e. outcome negotiations, direct funding – in the national climate commitments and actions yet. Effective collaboration among all levels of governments is the only way we can face the challenges of climate emergency, reach to 1.5oC  and transform our cities and communities. I am excited to hear that COP27 negotiations in Sharm El Sheikh are opening new opportunities of dialogue and collaboration among climate and urbanization ministers and initiatives for sustainable cities. If COPs are only about policy but not reaching to citizens, they are doomed  to fail, and that is why we need sustainable cities, urbanization and multilevel action and partnership as a game-changer. As the Special Envoy for COP27 Ministerials, I am ready to mobilize my experience and network to facilitate this unique process.” said Sharon Dijksma, Mayor of Utrecht, ICLEI´s Special Envoy for COP27 Ministerials, speaking at the climate panel of the 11th World Urban Forum in Katowice on 30 June 2022.

“Cities are multilevel, cities are diverse. Sustainable city is a must-theme for COP27, especially looking at the outcomes from COP26. Localization should be considered as a tool for globalization. For this, we are considering convening high level dialogues and joint initiatives at COP27 so that we can improve resilience and livability of our cities today and inspire actions for sustainable cities of the future globally. That is why we want to link WUF11 in Katowice to COP27 Sharm El Sheikh in 2022 and then to WUF12 in Egypt in 2024.” said H. E. Dr. Abdelkhalek Ibrahim Assistant Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, Government of Egypt at the WUF11 Greener Urban Future Dialogue on 30 June 2022.

“COP27 is an opportunity to elevate the needs, expectations and contributions of all sizes and scopes  of African cities and regions in the global climate negotiations. Africa is the world’s fastest urbanizing region and facing dire impacts of the climate crises. Therefore it has to be a leader in acting on the climate emergency. As the Special Envoy for Africa for COP27, I am ready to elevate the voice and contributions of African cities and regions towards and in Sharm Ek-Sheikh. ” said Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, representing Africa in ICLEI´s Global Executive Committee, regional ambassador of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, and Chair of Intermediary  Cities of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

At COP27 in its capacity as the LGMA Focal Point, ICLEI will lead the design and programming of the Multilevel Action Pavilion as the home for cities, regions and all subnationals with all members of the LGMA Constituency at the COP27 Blue Zone where UNFCCC negotiations are held. Building on the experience at COP26, this process will once again benefit from the support and leadership of the Scottish Government.  Over the next months, ICLEI will also actively support the COP27 Presidency and UN-Habitat in the consultations to develop an initiative on sustainable cities, expected to be one of the legacies of COP27. The first consultations of this process was held at WUF11 in Katowice on 29 June 2022, gathering more than 50 representatives of the Mayors, networks of local and regional governments, UN agencies and other stakeholders. These discussions will be further advanced at the workshop in Cairo on 26-27 July, to be hosted by the Incoming COP27 Presidency.

All these efforts will be further connected to the Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement towards COP28 in Dubai in November 2023, where ICLEI played a key role in convincing the UNFCCC negotiators during the UN Bonn Climate Conference held in Bonn (Germany) on 6-16 June 2022 to expand this process to all cities and nations globally. ICLEI and LGMA suggested this Global Stocktake process to resemble the spirit and experience of the Talanoa Dialogues under the UNFCCC in 2018, supported by more than 60 Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue in 40 countries. In the localization of the Global Stocktake towards COP28, ICLEI proposes to promote #Stocktake4ClimateEmergency where the sessions to be hosted by cities and regions can focus on national climate plans (i.e. NDCs) submitted by 2021, local and regional climate commitments and actions for 2030 and 2050, as well as addressing climate justice within their own jurisdictions and within the scope of global solidarity.

WUF11 in Katowice also coincided with major announcements from the Commonwealth and G7 Heads of States Summits in acknowledging sustainable cities, urbanization and multilevel action, providing huge momentum for the advocacy of cities and regions towards COP27.

“In 2018, Katowice was the host of COP24, which played a crucial role towards the Glasgow Climate Pact in 2021. With these additional momentum from WUF11, Katowice will be injecting a new momentum towards COP27 for the effective engagement of local and regional governments in the 2nd phase of the Paris Agreement to transform the global climate action into emergency mode by seizing the power of sustainable cities, urbanization and multilevel action.” said Yunus Arikan, the Director of Global Advocacy at ICLEI and the Focal Point of LGMA Constituency, following the climate track at WUF11 in Katowice, Poland.

You can watch the event here.

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