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

ICLEI Regional Secretariats and country offices

06 June 2024

LGMA dialogue on cities, buildings and urban systems


On 5 June, the Local Governments and Municipal Authority (LGMA) Constituency convened a closed dialogue with Lola Vallejo and Dr. Amr Abdel-Aziz, Co-Chairs of the UNFCCC Sharm El Sheikh Mitigation Ambition and Implementation Work Programme, focusing on this year’s theme, “Cities: Buildings and Urban Systems.” The event was generously hosted by the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).

The Mitigation Work Program, established at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, aims to create a dedicated space within UNFCCC negotiations to focus on scaling up mitigation ambition during this critical decade, striving to keep the 1.5°C target within reach.

During the event, the Co-Chairs highlighted outcomes of the dialogue and investment focused event on 27-29 May, detailed their agenda at the ongoing SB60 sessions, and outlined the urgency to enhance urban mitigation efforts. They further emphasized the necessity of continuous action and concerted efforts across all levels of government, in partnership with key collaborators such as the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, ICLEI as the co-leads of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action and the LGMA Constituency being represented by Climate Heritage Network.

“The Mitigation Work Program 2024 dialogue is an excellent and extremely important opportunity to advance paragraph 161 of the COP28 GST decision, which urges Parties for multilevel action as well as connect the global action agenda and CHAMP initiative to the NDCs,” said Yunus Arikan, ICLEI’s Director of Global Advocacy and LGMA focal point. “Through additional channels like this informal dialogue today, we will ensure the perspectives and contributions of the LGMA Constituency can be reflected in the outcomes of this process,” he concluded.

The Co-Chairs highlighted three critical subtopics to advance sustainability in the built environment. The first focuses on reducing operational emissions from buildings, including heating, cooling, and appliance energy use. The second subtopic explores designing building envelopes for efficiency, emphasizing both retrofitting existing building stock—a significant concern in developed countries with extensive infrastructure—and establishing new construction standards to ensure future cities are resilient and emissions-efficient. The third addresses reducing embodied emissions by examining the environmental impact of building materials.

The goal is to foster comprehensive discussions on making buildings more sustainable and resilient, contributing to broader climate goals.

Finally, they emphasized strategies for pursuing mitigation efforts in urban systems and the necessary investments to make these strategies possible. Building on last year’s theme of accelerating the just energy transition, they also underscored their commitment to equitable and effective climate action.

The dialogue gathered more than ten LGMA partners who have shared additional inputs. The Co-Chairs welcomed focused suggestions and encouraged additional submissions as well as more active collaboration with the LGMA towards the forth dialogue on urban systems in Fall 2024.

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