Nairobi, 8 October 2021 – Among the hundreds of events marking Urban October, UN-Habitat and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) are co-hosting a virtual week-long international conference called “Innovate4Cities” or I4C focused on driving forward research and action on climate change in cities.

The Conference, which runs from 11 – 15 October, will bring together thousands of city leaders, scientists, researchers, innovators, academics, youth and business leaders. It will advance progress towards meeting the gaps identified by the Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science, as well as newly identified knowledge gaps, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The practitioner-research interface at the conference will be designed in such a way that it can support both the scientific community via the UN climate panel, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) process. This has the aim of ensuring that co-created and relevant knowledge and research is recognised and incorporated into the knowledge rubric of the IPCC 7th Assessment (AR7) cycle which is due to include a Special Report on Cities and Climate Change, and that the outcomes of the conference can input into the discussions at the COP26 scheduled for October 31 through November 12 in Glasgow, UK.

IPCC has co-sponsored the event to ensure that the insights of climate scientists, researchers and the wider academic community are brought forward in an exchange of ideas and solutions with practitioners working in cities to deliver ambitious climate change goals and targets.

Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN-Habitat Executive Director, said: “The climate crisis is widely recognized as the number one threat facing the world today. And it is our cities and towns which are responsible for much of the climate change, which is resulting in devastating floods, droughts and violent storms. In fact, cities and towns produce around 70 percent of the main greenhouse gases. Unless we take urgent action, the greenhouse gases produced by ever expanding urban centres, will continue to push global air temperatures higher”.

Regional Curator teams will support the event providing programme segments that feature tangible on-the-ground outcomes, co-creation of regional solutions, and present leading research, innovation and practice from their nominated region.

The Conference hosts aim to spur accelerated and more ambitious climate change action, as they call on national and regional governments, academia, the private sector, civil society organizations, and local governments to form solutions-driven and outcomes-oriented partnerships.

To see the I4C programme and register go to