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Urban Climate Action - The Urban Content of the NDCs: Global Review 2022

The world is on track to reach peak global temperatures between 2.1 – 2.9⁰C above preindustrial levels by 2100, which far exceeds the 1.5⁰C target recognized to reduce the worst impacts of climate change. Cities and urban leaders play a critical role to help ensure countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase climate resilience and enhance adaptive capacity to achieve the global 1.5⁰C target. Urbanized areas are particularly prominent when considering alternative scenarios for achieving climate targets because cities account for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions and consume 78% of the world’s energy while accounting for just 2% of the global land footprint.

Moreover, the world is becoming increasingly urban with the city populations set to reach 68% by 2050 while also being home to significant concentrations of people and assets that are especially exposed and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This report explores the linkage between the national climate plans known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and urban issues.

This report represents a collaboration between the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) and the UNESCO Chair on Urban Resilience at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU.Resilience) in partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. This report presents a global analysis of the urban content of NDCs, including consideration of the many challenges and opportunities in the response to the climate crisis in the context of the urban setting.

Results of the analysis, including illustrative country approaches for effective multi-level governance, were presented at COP27 and represent Parties’ efforts in integrating national climate policies with urban climate action, which is fundamental to raising ambition and delivering climate ambition to help meet the 1.5⁰C target and respond to the climate emergency.