Cairo 14 September 2022--Less than sixty days away from the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), UN-Habitat and partners discussed an initiative to promote multilevel climate governance and focus on five tracks: buildings and housing; urban energy; urban waste/consumption; urban mobility and urban water.

Seventy percent of cities worldwide are already dealing with the effects of climate change. However, though cities are a big driver of planet-warming emissions, they are also engines of climate action and at the forefront of delivering solutions.

Addressing climate change challenges, the COP27 Presidency, in collaboration with UN-Habitat and with the facilitation of ICLEI, developed the Sustainable Urban Resilience for the next Generation (SURGe) Initiative, seeking to achieve sustainable and resilient urban systems through strengthen the implementation of the climate agenda in and with cities; unlocking urban climate finance; capacity-building and ensuring equity.

UN-Habitat, the Egyptian COP27 Presidency, the Egyptian Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities and ICLEI briefed Member States and Core Partners on the initiative in Nairobi in the presence of Ambassador, Ayman Tharwat Amin, Deputy Director of the Department of Climate, Environment and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif.

“Building on the commitments of the Paris Agreement and COP26, the SURGe Initiative and the Housing and Urban Development Ministerial Meeting on Cities and Climate Change give me hope that that we can shift the needle towards winning the battle against climate change by fully supporting the over 11,000 cities that want to take climate action,” Sharif said in her opening remarks.

A hybrid stakeholder consultation workshop had taken place earlier in Cairo, Egypt, with more than 120 participants, discussing main action points ahead of COP27. The participants included representation from national governments such as Austria, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Morocco, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK as well as UN Organizations, civil society, academia, private sectors and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs).

The COP, which is the main decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is held every year, to assesses the measures of the parties to limit climate change. This year COP27 will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November.