Nairobi, 15 April 2021 – UN-Habitat is launching a new Campaign to inspire action in urban areas to prevent climate change and adjust to its ongoing or anticipated impact.

The UN-Habitat #ClimateAction4Cities Campaign aims to inspire and mobilize city leaders, communities, the private sector, urban professionals and the general public to take urgent action and promote climate solutions. The Campaign will focus on the urgent need for cities and national governments to reduce urban-based carbon emissions, adapt to the impacts, build resilience to climate change, particularly for the urban poor and build back greener after the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Campaign forms part of the United Nations’ movement on climate action in the lead to the Climate Change Conference (COP26) which takes place  in Glasgow, Scotland this November.  One of the main UN goals in 2021 is to strengthen climate action both in terms of building a global coalition for carbon neutrality by 2050 and on adaptation and resilience. 

As the world’s leading climate scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change state in their Fifth Assessment Report, “much of key and emerging global climate risks are concentrated in urban areas”.  At the same time, cities are producing over 70 percent of global carbon emissions.

“The fight against climate change, which presents the single biggest threat to sustainable development will be won or lost in cities and towns,” said UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif. “The global recovery from COVID-19 is an opportunity to rethink urban living to move to low-emission and climate-resilient cities making sure no one is left behind.”

The Campaign will focus on green recovery, low-carbon and nature-based solutions and building climate resilience of cities and communities. Organizations will be able to share their solutions through the UN-Habitat, the Urban Agenda Platform and World Urban Campaign websites. Solutions will be promoted on social media channels, shared at various forums such as the Urban Thinkers Campus, and discussed with researchers and policy-makers at the Innovate4Cities Conference, being  co-organized by UN-Habitat and the Global Covenant of Mayors from 11 to15 October 2021.  World Habitat Day, World Cities Day and Urban October will be used as key moments to promote specific themes under the overall climate action agenda.

The Campaign will engage UN-Habitat partners through various events, webinars and platforms, including the World Urban Campaign, an advocacy catalyst for urban change made of more than 170 partner organisations coordinated by UN-Habitat. To coincide with the Campaign launch, the World Urban Campaign partners are releasing a Call to Climate Action, inviting other organizations to recognize the global climate emergency and help deliver effective scalable solutions and innovations to address the climate change challenges. The call commits the network to  ‘share knowledge gathered in 2021, as well as to influence key decision-makers at all levels to make climate action a tangible part of our common future’. The campaign directly supports the Global Umbrella Campaigns “Race to Zero” and “Race to Resilience”.