ICLEI is laying the groundwork for a new form of climate governance worldwide. We are bringing together all levels of government to ensure national climate policies and implementation strategies are effective at the ground level.
What is the Talanoa Dialogue?
The mandate for the Talanoa Dialogue goes back to COP21, the 2015 United Nations Climate Conference in Paris, when nations decided to convene what they referred to as a facilitative dialogue in 2018 to take stock of their efforts. This past year, at COP23, it was decided that the 2018 facilitative dialogue would be known as the Talanoa Dialogue.
It is designed to engage climate stakeholders in taking stock of and shaping national climate plans through in-country consultations throughout 2018. The aim of the Talanoa Dialogue is to promote enhanced ambition and strengthen the implementation and impact of Nationally Determined Contributions – or NDCs, the national climate action plans submitted by nations under the Paris Climate Agreement with a view to moving the global climate agenda forward.
This process will be structured around three general topics: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? These questions imply three distinct sets of analytical and policy relevant input into a national stock-take to assess progress on climate action, a mapping exercise focusing on action that countries need to take to achieve or surpass the goals set out in NDCs as well as policies and implementation strategies that can achieve those goals.
Inspired by the spirit of Talanoa, an inclusive approach to dialogue used in Fiji and the Pacific, these multistakeholder consultations are designed to be participatory and transparent and promote cooperation.
What we aim to achieve
ICLEI views Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue as a critical window to advance and institutionalize multilevel governance on climate action, which, at its core, means coordinated action across all levels of government. They build on the Bonn-Fiji Commitment adopted by over 300 leaders at the Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders at COP23, which issued a direct call for nations to “make use of vertical and horizontal integration to connect climate action at and across all levels of government, and to set up inclusive consultations processes domestically with their local and regional governments towards and at the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue”.
Although nations are the ones required to submit pledges under the Paris Agreement, they cannot implement meaningful climate action without support, knowledge and cooperation from local and regional governments.
Through the Talanoa Dialogue, we aim to inform the development of national policies which support and strengthen climate action at all levels of government, create lasting mechanisms to ensure national climate policy is shaped and implemented through inclusive consultations with local and regional governments, connect sustainable urban and territorial development with national climate policy and ultimately increase the level of ambition set out in national climate action plans.
What Talanoa looks like from our perspective
Strengthening the post-Paris multilevel climate governance architecture: The Talanoa Dialogue is a chance to crystalize the vision for multilevel climate governance that is enshrined in the Paris Agreement, linking nations, cities and regions in shaping and implementing climate policy. Whereas the years leading up to the Paris Agreement focused on achieving consensus among nations, it is now time to expand the focus beyond national governments and define a path forward that supports all levels of government as core actors in implementation.
ICLEI has worked with other leading organizations like GIZ and UN-Habitat to define what multilevel governance means in practice and illustrate how it supports and enables subnational climate action and consequently strengthens implementation.
Connecting all levels of government in direct dialogue: This year, ICLEI will directly organize and facilitate Talanoa events in countries like Lao PDR, Rwanda, Colombia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa, the Philippines and Vietnam through projects such as Urban-LEDS with UN-Habitat and Ambitious City Promises.
Collaborative governance and multilevel dialogue will also be central themes at the ICLEI World Congress 2018 where the ICLEI network and leaders on climate and sustainability from all levels of government will come together in the Ville de Montréal, Canada to exchange, collaborate and set the agenda for increased action.
In our role as the focal point of the Local Governments and Regional Authorities (LGMA) constituency to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), ICLEI help bring the outcomes of consultations led by us and other members of the LGMA constituency will inform decision-making at the UNFCCC intergovernmental process. In this way, ICLEI will represent the collective voice of cities and regions at international climate negotiations.
Equipping nations with resources to capitalize on subnational action: National governments and stakeholders were invited to cooperate in convening local, national, regional or global events in support of the dialogue. This is a fundamental component.
ICLEI is taking this a step further, with the aim to ensure these dialogues yield concrete outcomes. We are creating and refining tools, platforms and systems that nations can use to advance multilevel governance in their respective countries. This includes the carbonn Climate Registry, which gives national governments a clearer picture of subnational climate action based on up-to-date data from local and regional governments. This multilevel climate reporting system is designed to show how local and regional contributions fit into national climate planning and paint a holistic picture of climate action across sectors and levels of government. At COP23, ICLEI released the 2017 carbonn Climate Registry report on boosting subnational climate action through new climate governance, which presented details on how ICLEI supports integrated Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) .
Designing citizen-driven action on climate: Local and regional governments are closest to the citizens of any nation and work directly with communities to tackle climate change. Through Ambitious City Promises, a low emission development project supported by BMUB, ICLEI is supporting local governments to develop and deploy bottom-up models of climate action planning. By inspiring action at the ground level and integrating community pledges and plans, Southeast Asian cities involved in the project can raise their own contribution to climate action and make the case for greater ambition at all levels of government.
Connecting climate and sustainable urban and territorial development: Climate action and sustainable urban development are fundamentally intertwined, but more should be done to link them in policy and action. This is why ICLEI is launching the Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue, with the Global Covenant of Mayors and UN-Habitat as special partners, at the ninth World Urban Forum, the first global event focused on implementation of the New Urban Agenda.
Linking the global climate agenda and the sustainable development agenda will be an important part of the conversation throughout our multilevel dialogues. These discussions and collaborations can build a stronger linkage between these two global agendas at the policy level, just as ICLEI is working to integrate action on climate and sustainable development on the ground.
Bringing multilevel governance beyond the climate realm: Multilevel governance is not just an important part of the climate action, but also to the overall implementation of the global sustainable development agenda.
ICLEI has been leading the way on mainstreaming vertically and horizontally integrated approaches in its work across sectors. For instance, our INTERACT-Bio project aims to connect national and subnational government decision-makers to work together towards integrating biodiversity considerations into city-region planning and decisions. The project is working across three regions to bring nature-based solutions to urban areas. The results of these projects not only benefit urban communities and nature, but can also be incorporated into city-region reporting on climate as well as sustainability through the carbonn Climate Registry.
Our work this year on multilevel governance is designed lay the groundwork for longer term collaboration and joint action across all levels of government in and beyond the countries we are focusing on this year. We are focusing on countries that are looking to cities and regions and their networks, such as ICLEI, to design a process that pioneers a new, efficient, multilevel climate governance model.