July 2020 – More than 200 participants in the Mayoral-Ministerial Dialogue organized by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) discussed opportunities to accelerate climate action during COVID-19 during a five-hour event. The meeting gathered over 50 panelists, with the participation of the heads of three United Nations agencies (UNEP, UN-Habitat and UNDP), Ministers from Italy, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, South Africa, Chile and over 25 Mayors and Governors from all world regions took part.
One of the main topics was that climate change and the current pandemic should not be seen as separate issues to be tackled individually. Participants called for the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda to be considered as roadmaps to encourage national governments and sub-national actors to address the current crisis and build long-lasting resilience together. They also discussed how effective crisis response requires multilevel approaches and require better engagement of local and regional governments (LRGs) in national climate action efforts.
UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif called for global support to: “get Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) delivered on time and with the sort of ambition that sets us on a course to limit global warming to 1.5-2.0 degrees, and helps build resilience to climate disasters. Countries need our contributions and ideas.”
In order to support such multilevel efforts, UN-Habitat published a new guide, Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions through urban climate action. The report provides practical opportunities for incorporating urban climate action and human settlement issues into the current NDC revision and enhancement process, drawing on existing knowledge and networks. It contains a simple step-by-step approach designed for quick and effective application by NDC coordinators. The guide intends to support national governments implementing their NDCs by aligning the activities of urban stakeholders behind a common vision for human settlements.