In the run-up to COP21 in Paris, 1,700 Climate Alliance member cities call on national, European and international decision makers to enrich climate change talks with a focus on local action. If we are to reach our collective goal of keeping average global warming below 2°C as compared to pre-industrial levels, it is critical that we act now. All levels of government must work together to close the emissions gap.
“We absolutely need a global protocol that acknowledges the efforts of local and regional authorities around the world and supports them in further climate action.”
The Paris Protocol should recognise the role and efforts of local and regional authorities in climate mitigation and adaptation. Without local action, national targets cannot be reached.
National governments should support local governments, integrating local emission reduction commitments and local climate action into national pledges for the Paris Protocol.
The EU Covenant of Mayors stands as a flagship initiative in tackling climate change at the local level. Already representing a staggering mitigation potential of over 400 MtCO2eq, this European initiative should be up-scaled to a global level and acknowledged in the Climate Agreement as part of the new EU climate diplomacy.
New legal and financial frameworks should be elaborated and improved in partnership with local and regional authorities to enable the implementation of coherent mitigation and adaptation measures.
The Green Climate Fund, Global Environment Facility and Adaptation Fund should be directly accessible by local and regional authorities for their climate mitigation and adaptation projects. Local authorities with integrated energy and climate action plans, as required by the Covenant of Mayors, should receive priority funding for the projects defined in their plans.
Better convergence between international climate process and the post 2015 development agendas is needed. The long-term visions and commitments should be aligned and take into account the views of all levels of government.
International cooperation efforts should be strengthened among local and regional authorities of the Global North and South. Such cooperation can result in greater sustainability benefits and leapfrogging.
Forests should be kept separate from carbon markets. The crucial role of indigenous peoples in safeguarding the integrity of rainforest ecosystems should be globally recognised, their territories legalised and the indigenous REDD+ (RIA) proposal or other indigenous alternatives considered in the climate negotiations.
Download the messages as a pdf here.
About Climate Alliance
Founded in 1990 with the aim of uniting European municipalities and the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin, Climate Alliance has been working for the benefit of the global climate for the past 25 years. Its member municipalities across Europe have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions locally by 10% every 5 years as well as to helping to protect the rainforests in partnership with the indigenous peoples of the Amazon region. Climate Alliance supports its members in their activities by developing CO2 monitoring instruments, organising opportunities for exchange, coordinating European projects with and for member cities and representing their interests at the national, European and international levels.