27 November 2019

ICLEI Europe on-the-ground at COP25

This December, countries from across the world will meet in Madrid (Spain) for the 25th Conference of the Parties of the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25). Past meetings have led to landmark agreements, such as the Paris Agreement, which was the result of COP21.

ICLEI is the official focal point of Local Governments and Municipal Authorities to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In addition to global ICLEI presence at COP25, a number of ICLEI Europe projects will be on-the-ground in Madrid.

Cities to scale-up local implementation of the Paris Agreement during working session

On 12 December, the Urban-LEDS II, Connecting Nature and CLEVER Cities projects – all of which ICLEI Europe is a part of – are coming together in Madrid to host a joint working session alongside COP25. The session will support cities to scale up their contributions to the Paris Agreement.

It will put a spotlight on the drivers and obstacles to accelerating transformative, local, integrated climate action in line with the Paris Agreement. Under facilitation of Madrid, invited cities will present to peers their lessons learnt, and the main challenges they have addressed through implementing key emission reduction and nature-based solution projects.

City presenters will share insights and consult on development and implementation of ambitious, low-emission development strategies and roadmaps towards carbon neutrality. Madrid will also host site-visits to the Waste Management Centre of Valdemingomez and the Madrid Rio Urban Regeneration Project

Debates will address the impact and the strategic link of ambitious local climate action with national emission reduction reports (NDCs) to be submitted to the UNFCCC before COP26 next year.

Urban-LEDS cities set the groundwork for the working session during an eight-day European study trip in June 2019. There, they re-affirmed their climate action ambitions and settled on a set of priority areas for future cooperation, including best practices and replicable projects to pursue to meet international emission reduction requirements.

On 13 December, Urban-LEDS cities and partners are furthermore foreseen to contribute to the “Transition to a 1.5 world: accelerating climate action through international urban cooperation” side event in the Italian Pavilion.

For more information, visit the Urban-LEDS, CLEVER Cites and Connecting Nature websites, and watch interviews with city representatives from Urban-LEDS cities Helsinki, Bologna and Madrid on their climate ambitions and key actions.

Accelerating transition: how cities and regions make a difference!

Close cooperation among all levels of government and civil society is essential to achieve carbon neutrality. The success of transition depends on the ability to scale-up low-carbon solutions, and this will only be accomplished through involving sub-national authorities.

What are the most effective and cost-efficient solutions for emissions reductions in cities? Is scaling up existing climate solutions enough? What kind of governance framework is needed to support transition? How can cities’ climate mitigation efforts be accounted for systematically in, for example, national reporting?

On 7 December, a COP25 Side Event will draw on key insights from Horizon 2020 projects, the Nordic Green to Scale for Cities and Communities report, and the Talanoa Dialogues, and will feature representatives reporting first-hand on strategic and policy actions to scale-up solutions and strengthen multi-level collaboration.

ICLEI Europe is co-organising the session alongside ICLEI Member Cascais (Portugal), the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, and the EU Committee of Regions, under the umbrella of the C-Track 50 project. (You can read about this and other events in the 3rd newsletter of the C-Track 50 project, click here.)

Green public procurement takes the stage

Members of ICLEI Europe's Global Lead Cities Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN) will be recognised and will share their insights on using procurement as a tool to build more sustainable cities.

ICLEI Members and GLCN Cities Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Oslo (Norway) will present at the "Accelerating transitions: how cities and regions make a difference!" session, sharing lessons learnt from their experiences using procurement as a tool to achieve carbon neutrality and tackle the climate crisis. And, the City of Tshwane (South Africa), which chairs the GLCN, will contribute to the COP through participation in a Circular Economy Roundtable, as well as in sessions where the city will share knowledge on using renewable energy and sustainable procurement towards carbon neutrality.

The City of Ghent (Belgium), a GLCN City and ICLEI Member, will receive the UN Climate Action Award at COP25, in recognition of their exceptional food procurement policy, "Ghent en Garde." This action, which spotlights the vast impact sustainable procurement can have, also led Ghent to win the Transformative Action Award last year.

For more information on COP25, click here.