Date: 8 December 2015, 18:30 – 20:00

Venue: Le Bourget COP21 Venue, Blue Zone, Room 4


The world will come together in Paris in December 2015 to finalize a new climate agreement for 21st century. Similarly, a new urban agenda will be decided in Quito in October 2016 at the third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urbanization (Habitat III).

Given the importance of cities for mitigation of, and adaptation to climate change, and the importance of low-carbon development and resilience for sustainable urbanization – it is imperative that these two defining trends, urbanization and climate change are coherently addressed.

Download the progamme here as pdf

Objective of the Session

The main objective of the side event will be:

  • To discuss and raise awareness of the various challenges, opportunities and solutions related to cities and climate change;
  • Establish a solid connection between the new climate agreement and the New Urban Agenda, linking the discussions in Paris and Quito;
  • To present and discuss the UN System’s solutions and inputs in the field of cities and climate change, that can enrich the new urban agenda.

The event will offer an avenue for participants and stakeholders to discuss how to shape the 21st century urbanization model in a climate-friendly way, based on preliminary findings from the One UN System input into the Habitat III process on cities, climate change and disaster risk management and smart sustainable cities, and other multi-stakeholder and partner initiatives. 

Format of the Session

Opening: The session will begin with opening remarks and a brief outline of the overall framework and objectives of the session, with reference to climate change and the new urban agenda.

Panel discussion: The panel discussion will consist of six (6) panelists from different backgrounds, discussing urban climate change from different angles and provide an outlook on concrete ways to connect the new climate agreement and the new urban agenda.

Joint Solutions: Heads of participating agencies will briefly (3-5 min) present key solutions within their respective Agencies addressing climate change on the road to Habitat III in Quito.

Q&A session: During this session, the moderator and panelists will actively engage the audience in a question-and-answer session to offer participants a chance to further explore key topics raised on sustainable urbanization. 

Draft Programme (subject to change)

08 December 18:30 – 20:00



Opening Remarks/ introductions

Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the UN



Co-Moderators: Malcolm Johnson (ITU), Raf Tuts (UN-Habitat), 

UN Agency Representatives

  • Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary & Undersecretary General, UNECE
  • Pradeep Monga, Special representative to the DG on Energy and Climate Change, UNIDO
  • Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary General, ITU
  • Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-Habitat



Panel Discussion:

  • Karla Šlechtová, Minister of Regional Development, Czech Republic
  • Théophile Worou, Minister of Environment in Charge of Climate Change Issues, Reforestation and Protection of Natural and Forestry Resources, Benin
  • Ulrich Sumptoh, Lord Mayor, Port Villa municipal council (tbc)
  • Prof. Eugenie Birch, Director, PennIUR
  • Luis Neves, Chairman, Global e-Sustaimability Initiative, Executive VP, Deutsche Telekom
  • Kadri Nassiep, Chief Executive Officer, SANEDI


Questions & Answers

Guiding Questions

  • What are the key areas related to climate change adaptation and mitigation in cities – including secondary and growing cities - that should be taken into consideration in the new urban agenda?
  • How can national level processes and mechanisms inaugurated under the UNFCCC contribute to sustainable urbanization?
  • How does the discussion on Post-2015 (SDGs) influence sustainable climate change action in cities?
  • How can various sectors, for example ICTs and ecosystems, assist in building more sustainable, smarter and resilient cities?
  • How can the use of existing international urban frameworks and international standards help building the 21st century urban model?
  • What financing mechanisms can ensure that cities, especially in least developed countries, have the resources they need for climate change adaptation and mitigation?