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Nantes: Non-state Actors: A Chance for Climate

How do you maintain the clarity of a message that reflects diverse scales of actors and contentious agendas? According to Ronan Dantec (Councilor, City of Nantes) the best way to do this – and ensure that your words become more than just a slogan – is to live your message. By reducing 50% of its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030, the Nantes Métropole is exactly doing that, and is looking to push their standard of excellence even further.

In a session on 2 December 2015 where spectators outnumbered the 120 chairs in the Agora Hall of the Cities & Regions Pavilion by more than two to one – and which was attended by both Ségolene Royal (Minister of Ecology for France) and Hakima El Haite (representing the Moroccan Presidency of COP22) – cities, regions, and civic actors had the opportunity to showcase how non-state actors are proactively living out their messages, and creating the city of tomorrow in the process.

To this end, Johanna Rolland (Mayor of Nantes) emphasized the necessity of cooperation. Ronan Dantec stressed the rewards that can be won by walking the line between risk and ambition. Bernard Soulage (Vice President of Region Rhône-Alpes) urged greater mobilization and integration of community action. And various actors from civil society effectively captured how different ways of working are currently being forged, with both eyes fixed firmly on a new future, a new reality, and an impassioned drive towards COP22.

To ensure that this momentum is maintained, Nantes is organizing ‘Climate Chance’ – a Climate Actors World Summit dedicated to concrete action – from 26-28 September 2016. This event will enhance Nantes’ status as a sustainability leader known for its ecological and energy transition. Nantes was European Green Capital 2013, is President of EUROCITIES (a network of the 130 major European cities) and a representative for climate at the United Cities and Local Governments network (UCLG).

The Climate Actors World Summit is a global summit, developed with the aim of becoming a regular event for all non-state actors involved in the fight against climate change. Local authorities, businesses, associations, trade unions, the scientific community and citizens are invited to this summit, which should enable a global plan of action to be drawn up, offer more in-depth discussions on both achievements and obstacles and encourage the sharing of experiences and innovations, as well as highlighting the opportunities emerging from this resolute fight against climate Change.

This major event will bring together thousands of participants from all over the world. European Green Capital 2013, presidency of EUROCITIES, the network of the 130 major European cities, representative for climate at the network United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG); Nantes is a city known for its ecological and energy transition.

The hope, from the organizers in Nantes, is that the Climate Chance summit will serve as a COP for non-state actors that will mobilize the climate action necessary to allow cities and regions to demonstrate that they can rapidly go beyond the commitments made by state actors. Making this message a reality, however, will require cooperation between actors which have not traditionally worked together. To overcome this barrier, a multi-stakeholder approach is needed, and this can be catalyzed at the Nantes Summit with the realization that all the actors involved – local authorities, businesses, associations, trade unions, the scientific community, and citizens – all want the same thing: a transition to a sustainable, low carbon economy.

All the language which surrounds every COP – sustainable, smart, green, resilient – reflects a common reality: we need to build and manage communities, cities, and regions differently in the future. With effective cooperation which aggregates the collective weight of multiple-organizations and actors, the strength of cities and regions – and those who live and work within them – will come through.

Call for Contributions to Climate Actors World Summit

A call for contributions will be launched in January 2016, addressed to all non-state actors who wish to present and share their proposals for initiatives, innovations, action reports and reflexions in order to select the communications that will guide the workshops. The topics, including adaptation, territorial planning, economy and employment, territorial cooperation, forest, transport, and energy, continue the dynamic of the coalitions of actors established during the World Summit “Climate and Territories” in Lyon, Rhône-Alpes in July 2015. As was the case during the World Summit on sustainable cities, ECOCITY 2013, the Nantes Summit will address these topics through keywords for successful action: Think/Do/Mobilise/Finance.

Plenary sessions and forums with key figures in international climate change action will explore essential topics, including the link between climate and development, the new framework for the sustainable city, financing the climate change action, mobilising local actors and the younger generation.

This blog post was developed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in collaboration with R20.