Betting on Multilevel Climate Action for COP26 in Glasgow

On 17-18 March 2021, the Ministry of Environment of Japan will convene the Zero Carbon City International Forum, which has been recognized as 2021’s first global dialogue to advance multilevel action under the Paris Agreement. This dialogue is convened in collaboration with the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), 

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Tracking progress en route from Madrid to Glasgow

In a parallel universe, we would be gathered this week in Glasgow for COP26, but instead we are facing a global pandemic that has disrupted life as we know it around the world. In the face of this challenge, we are forced to reimagine and redesign a new and healthier future for communities around the 

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How are cities actually racing to zero?

One of the toughest parts of fulfilling the Paris Agreement goals is understanding the path to success. What does it take to muster the political will and support to make an ambitious commitment? How can all levels of government move capital that will result in investments that decrease carbon emissions? Surfacing and showcasing those leaders 

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A blueprint to enhance United Nations collaboration with local and regional governments

The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020, under the shadows of a once-in-a-century pandemic, serious challenges to multilateralism, and life-threatening climate and biodiversity emergencies. Due to the global pandemic, these celebrations will be taking place online, but the virtual forum by no means reduces the significance of processes and decisions that will 

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Accelerating the Race to Zero carbon: Multiple paths leading to the same destination

From left to right: Shinjiro Koizumi, Minister of Environment of Japan; Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku, Finland; Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn, Germany, and ICLEI President. One of the toughest parts of fulfilling the Paris Agreement goals is understanding the path to success. What does it take to muster the political will and support to 

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Local Governments Seek Participation in Nationally Determined Contributions

On the day that it was announced that COP26 will be postponed a full year because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, mayors, governors and national government representatives from around the world came together virtually to show how they are continuing to fight for climate action, even in the face of the global pandemic.  Twenty-five mayors 

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After COP25, frustration over decisions but even more hope on local climate action

The longest-ever climate conference, COP25, concluded on Sunday. The talks punted a number of meaningful decisions to 2020, and some results were even cause for disappointment. But those of us working for local and regional governments are used to taking the lead on ambition. While we are frustrated at the lack of progress on the decisions coming out of the negotiations, we still found four reasons to remain hopeful after this COP25.

Top 5 takeaways for cities and regions from the UN Climate Action Summit

For this year’s Climate Action Summit in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on leaders to bring concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, plans that would bring nations in line to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade and to net zero emissions by 

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When science meets policy and practice: Top 3 ways to achieve Paris goals

We need to dig in and build stronger links between climate science, urban policy and practice. The interconnection between the three perspectives is critical to creating coherent policy frameworks driven by hard data and scientific evidence, and informed by practitioner expertise. Urban areas account for about 70 percent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, and 

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COP23 is on track to set the scene for multilevel, multistakeholder climate action. This is how success could look

Every year, there is a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP). The next one (COP23) will be in Bonn, Germany in November 2017. In between COPs, the UNFCCC organizes mid-year climate negotiation sessions – the so-called intersessionals – which are usually held in Bonn. The May 

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