Local governments have not always been involved in global talks on climate change, but an organization is working to combat this gap. The Local Government Climate Roadmap is a coalition of local governments that works to determine an action plan towards a post-Kyoto framework on climate change. It was launched in Bali in 2007 as an advocacy movement, mirroring the United Nations Climate Change Roadmap that was set up for national governments. Neither the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) nor the Kyoto protocol included references to the role of cities and local governments. The next step is to collaborate with nations and set up a financial framework for local governments to combat climate change.
LGCR has three principal goals:
To recognize local governments as “governmental stakeholders,”
To engage local governments in setting agendas to combat climate change,
And to empower local governments with access to financial resources.
A major achievement for local governments occurred at the 2010 Cancun Agreements, where paragraph 7 of the accord recognizes local and subnational governments as governmental stakeholders.
“Between 2009 and 2012, local government networks further developed innovative global mechanisms to enhance measurable, reportable, verifiable (MRV) local climate action, such as the Global Cities Covenant on Climate Change – the Mexico City Pact, Durban Adaptation Charter, carbon Cities Climate Registry (cCCR) and Global Protocol for Community Scale GHG Emissions (GPC).”
Another key initiative achievement of the Local Government Climate Roadmap Process occurred at the UNFCCC in 2013 at the World Mayors Summit in Nantes. A Declaration of Mayors and Subnational Leaders on Climate Change was adopted, marking another phase in the roadmap. A Friends of Cities group, inspired by the Rio +20 and biodiversity processes, was endorsed by the Nantes declaration. The group is a partnership between Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency (LGMA) and Parties to “ensure substantial progress in the recognition, engagement and empowerment of local and subnational governments.”
Recently the Bonn Dialogues concluded at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Two key mechanisms were created to explore the role of local governments. “The “Forum on Cities and Subnational Authorities” and the “Technical Expert Meeting on Urban Environment” were organized, presenting groundbreaking examples on how local action in diverse areas such as low-carbon transport, renewable energy, carbon trading, climate finance and climate change adaptation reduce cities’ carbon emissions and enhance their livability globally.” Hopefully there will be a greater role for local governments in a new agreement at the Paris Conference of the Parties in 2015.
For more information visit the website of LGCR.
Image courtesy of the Local Government Climate Roadmap.