Opinions, ideas and knowledge you can apply to local and regional sustainable development.

Explore this blog to learn from local leaders, municipal staff and experts from around the world.

How to lower emissions in Japan

At a national level, Japan is committed to the Paris Agreement. At COP22, Japan was one of the first countries to sign on to the 2050 pathways platform. On 14 November in the Japan Pavilion at COP23, Masaharu Nakagawa, Minister of the Environment and Yasuo Takahashi, Vice Minister of Global Environmental Affairs at the Ministry of 

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Cities, business and science aim to scale up low-emission solutions

On 13 November 2017, during COP23, cities, businesses and researchers gathered in a unique forum to discuss the implementation at scale of low-emissions solutions. Created by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, this was the third Low Emission Solutions Conference 

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Shaping a shared agenda for adaptation in human settlements: Nairobi Work Programme 11th Focal Point Forum at COP23

Expert stakeholders and national government representatives met at COP23 to discuss climate resilience in human settlements at the 11th Focal Point Forum of the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP).  Interactive discussions built on the findings of submissions from governments and NWP partners and sought to identify concrete opportunities to bridge gaps in knowledge, funding, capacity, and policy. 

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Climate and health: Time to unmask solutions

Globally, an estimated 6.5 million deaths are attributed to air pollution every year. Cities around the world are facing some of the most severe effects of air pollution. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 80 percent of the urban population is exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO guideline limits. On 

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U.S. leaders and climate activists show the world We are Still In

On 11 November at the U.S. Climate Action Center at COP23, a town hall style event brought together members of the U.S. People’s Delegation, diverse climate activists and local leaders from across the United States to discuss U.S. climate action moving forward. The session opened with leaders from various levels of state, regional and local 

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East Asian cities move ahead with climate action

East Asian cities are developing rapidly. With over half of the global population living in cities and increased urbanization, around seventy percent of worldwide energy-related emissions come from cities.  However, cities the world over are also working at the local level to tackle climate change and provide sustainable futures for their residents. On 10 November at 

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Urban freight: Untapped potential for the low-carbon transition

Transport contributes to 23 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, pointing to the significant potential for mitigation action in this sector. Currently, 75 percent of national climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), identify passenger transport in urban areas as an important sector for reducing emissions. Passenger transport is indeed a major contributor 

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Urbanization and energy demand in Sub-Saharan Africa: Finding collaborative and integrated solutions

On 9 November 2017, the Cities & Regions Pavilion at COP23 hosted three back to back sessions highlighting African voices from local and national governments as well as non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Throughout the day, three main themes emerged: the development opportunities and challenges posed by rapid urbanization and increasing energy demand across 

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From Steel City to sustainable city: The story of Pittsburgh and cities with industrial legacies

Since the first industrial revolution, extractive and manufacturing industries have formed the backbone of local economies, leading to rapid urbanization of their surrounding areas. Cities have, in turn, developed a spatial composition and social identity linked to their industrial heritage. The industrial model that shaped certain cities has, over time, proven to be unsustainable. Environmental 

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From La Paz to Bonn: How city-to-city partnerships strengthen climate action

The Paris Agreement acknowledges the role that cities, towns and regions can play in tackling climate change and preparing for its effects. Now, local, regional and municipal governments are stepping up, and city-to-city partnerships are one mechanism that allows cities to plan and implement climate action at the local level, learning through knowledge exchange and 

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