All around the globe, cities and regions are driving climate ambitions, promoting innovative solutions and mainstreaming sustainability into the everyday lives of citizens. Without the full engagement of subnational governments, it is nearly impossible for national governments to move quickly from commitments to achievements.
At COP27 in Egypt, EIT Climate-KIC joined the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), ICLEI, Under2Coalition, Climate Alliance, Climate Chance, Regions4 and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to discuss a joint Roadmap for COP28. Together, they launched the Declaration on the EU Green Deal: from local to global. The declaration calls for subnational governments to play a stronger role in international climate talks and in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The full engagement of subnational governments
The declaration acknowledges the efforts of countries to reach an agreement to align climate ambitions and to support a just transition that includes energy security. However, it concludes that the path to climate neutrality and a resilient future will take longer without the full engagement of their subnational governments.
EIT Climate-KIC and other signatories declare that they stand ready to:
- Set up an Annual Subnational Climate Forum for dialogue between parties and local and regional authorities to support efforts at the national and international levels towards COP28
- Cooperate with city networks and partners through the Global Covenant of Mayors in a collective effort to set up a Common Reporting Framework allowing to feed into the work on regionally and locally determined contributions
- Report progress to Race to Zero and Race to Resilience, and implement their commitments
- Foster subnational cooperation towards a holistic approach to climate action, and the creation of a Local Green Deal (building upon the EU Green Deal approach)
Cities make up about 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and by 2050 they will concentrate around 70% of the human population. At the same time, in the coming decades, regions will see major transitions in value chains, energy, and infrastructure. Cities and regions are already committing to ambitions for accelerated change well beyond National Development Plans.
We must help them stay the course and have a voice in doing so, and therefore, we call for subnational governments to be given an explicit and expanded role in international negotiations on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Without a greater coordination and cooperation in the run up towards COP28, the ability of cities and regions to turn words into action will be significantly diminished.
Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of EIT Climate-KIC