Blog

Reflecting on how to elevate the momentum on multilevel climate action beyond COP28
May 16, 2024
Wrapping up Daring Cities’ 2024 Cornerstone I “Reflect,” two in-depth webinars gathered local leaders and climate representatives to discuss past climate initiatives, especially those stemming from COP28. Here, we share their insights exploring how cities and regions can leverage COP28 outcomes, particularly the CHAMP initiative, as we move forward to the upcoming COPs in Baku 

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São Paulo's sustainability vision linking health, resilience and food access
May 13, 2024
As São Paulo’s thermometers marked record-breaking temperatures last year, the heat wave refused to relent, with March 2024 hitting nearly 35°C—the highest for the month since 1943. The City of São Paulo is committed to nurturing a healthier, more resilient community by tackling health-related issues due to rising temperatures and air pollution. Here, we spotlight 

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Latin America leading: From ICLEI World Congress 2024 to COP30
May 8, 2024
Amidst the urgency of global climate action, São Paulo, Brazil, emerges as a shining example of dedication and progress towards sustainability. In June 2024, the city will host the ICLEI World Congress, a pivotal event that brings together leaders and stakeholders to advance environmental goals and foster international cooperation. This Congress is not just a 

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Fort Collins’ sustainability journey: A testament to holistic nature conservation
April 30, 2024
Fort Collins, Colorado, stands as a beacon of exemplary sustainability efforts, particularly evident in its commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 15 – Life on Land (SDG 15). The City’s journey unfolds through a series of initiatives and projects aimed at addressing biodiversity loss, land degradation, and ecosystem preservation, while also fostering community engagement and advancing 

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City food procurement is an investment in our planet
April 26, 2024
This piece was written by Kate MacKenzie, Executive Director at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, and Tia Schwab, Policy Advisor at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Food Policy in collaboration with Betina Bergmann Madsen, Chief Procurement Officer at the Municipality of Copenhagen, and Sofie Folsach Rasmussen, Communications Advisor at 

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(Circular) cities at the forefront: Insights from UrbanShift’s Latin America Forum
April 22, 2024
As the world continues to shape the framework of the much-anticipated “Global Plastic Treaty”, the urgency to address the plastic pollution crisis has never been more pronounced. Spearheaded by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on Plastic Pollution, this international legally binding instrument has been in the making since 2022, aiming to complete its work by 

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Latin American cities rally in unprecedented line-up of events as UN cancels regional climate week
April 17, 2024
In its Quarterly Report 2024, the UNFCCC confirmed that this year’s Regional Climate Weeks, including the Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week, have been canceled until further notice due to “lack of funding.” These regional climate weeks are seen as crucial for promoting multilateral partnerships and coordination, fostering innovative approaches, and uniting efforts to tackle 

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Sowing the seeds for urban agriculture
April 15, 2024
Covering a third of São Paulo, rural areas are seamlessly connected to the city through the Sampa+Rural Program, a groundbreaking platform where citizens and visitors can discover local farmers, indulge in farm-fresh produce, and access ecotourism options. Explore how this bustling megalopolis is creating a sustainability hub that fosters rural development while promoting healthy living 

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Urban practitioners invited to help scope critical IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Cities
April 15, 2024
Authored by Pourya Salehi, Ariel Dekovic, Yunus Arikan, and Maryke van Staden from ICLEI World Secretariat At the 43rd session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Nairobi in 2016, the panel decided to include a Special Report on Climate Change and Cities (SRCC) in the IPCC Seventh Assessment Cycle. This achievement marked 

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Equity served: How local governments can ensure a just transition for sustainable food systems
April 9, 2024
Access, participation, and opportunity are three key ingredients local governments should consider when promoting local agriculture, reducing food miles, or supporting community markets. Explore how to implement them and real city examples to follow suit.    *By María Alonso Martínez and ICLEI’s CityFood Team In recent years, the conversation around sustainable food systems has focused 

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Cities and regions at UN's Environment Assembly: Safeguarding environmental integrity of  global sustainability through multilevel action
March 22, 2024
At the recent sixth United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-6) in Nairobi, resolutions shaped the strategic direction of global environmental policy through multilateral actions. How do cities and regions engage in this global process? ICLEI, as co-focal point of the Local Authorities Major Group (LAMG), ensures representation of subnational governments in UNEA’s negotiation rooms. * This 

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World Water Day calls for building peaceful, inclusive futures
March 21, 2024
Gender-inclusive, multilevel, and cross-boundary water governance approaches are ever more crucial for achieving peace and safety. Such approaches can improve access to safe sanitation and water, prepare for future shocks and threats, and tackle present-day social inequities, especially impacting women. *This blog was written by Paul Currie, Director of Urban Systems Unit, and Luka Dreyer, 

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São Paulo’s Green Gift
March 20, 2024
The City of São Paulo has recently declared the acquisition of 32 private green areas as a public utility, equivalent to the size of Paris or 15,500 football fields. With this significant addition, the megalopolis will total 26% of its territory under environmental protection. “Expanding these preservation areas is one of the greatest gifts we 

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What is the progress on the Global Plastic Treaty and how it could impact subnational governments
March 2, 2024
2023 has been a year of tremendous progress for Circular Development, but we have a lot more work that needs to be accelerated as 2030 is not far away. At the same time, we need to ensure that all gains made towards making our cities, provinces, and states, circular and sustainable are not lost. ICLEI’s Circular 

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Can you build an investment-ready climate project?
February 21, 2024
How can we build capacity for local and regional officials to access diverse funding sources for climate adaptation and mitigation projects? Between 13-16 February, UrbanShift hosted the Marrakech City Academy for Africa in Morocco, engaging nearly 80 participants from 25 cities across seven countries in intensive learning on Climate Finance and Urban Biodiversity. ICLEI led 

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Insuring our future: Strengthening disaster resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean
February 20, 2024
In November 2023, the Urban Infrastructure Insurance Facility (UIIF) Project hosted its first in-person event in San José, Costa Rica. The gathering brought together representatives from various Latin American and Caribbean cities and ICLEI, united by a common goal: To enhance their understanding and management of natural disasters. The dialogue was a melting pot of 

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Fair public financing: German cities push forward with attempts to make subsidy schemes more equitable
February 19, 2024
This piece was written by Olga Horn, Senior Officer, ICLEI World Secretariat & Daniel Botha, Expert Justice, Equity and Democracy, ICLEI European Secretariat  To expedite the renewable energy transition and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many cities worldwide provide funding programs to assist residents – for instance in insulating their buildings or installing photovoltaics (PV) on 

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The City of São Paulo is on the move: Driving sustainable public transport
February 12, 2024
A wave of sustainable mobility is reshaping urban public transport in Brazil, led by the City of São Paulo’s pioneering eco-mobility solutions, boasting the largest fleet of electric buses in Latin America. With ambitious goals to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2028, explore how this 12 million-people megacity is paving the way for a 

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Synchronize your calendar with our pick of urban sustainable development events
February 7, 2024
Keep important sustainability events right in your own calendar! You can subscribe to a global events list that highlights political events (such as UNFCCC meetings), webinars (from our Advocacy team and more), and conferences that contribute to the world of sustainable urban development, and synchronizes directly with the calendar client you already use. This list 

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CityFood in 2024: What’s cooking?
January 24, 2024
This piece was written by the ICLEI CityFood team. 2023 marked another big step to further consolidate food as a game changer, its interdependence with biodiversity, climate and health, and the need to address these systemically to achieve progress. With ten years on the ground, ICLEI’s CityFood is one of the oldest urban food programmes 

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Top 10 global sustainability events not to miss in 2024
January 24, 2024
In 2024, the global climate agenda is at a critical juncture following the outcomes of COP28, which have been described as the “beginning of the end” of the fossil fuel era. The stocktake at COP28 recognized the urgent need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, to address 

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Local and regional governments stand ready to tackle the pandemic of inequality
December 18, 2023
The foundational topic of inequality was raised throughout COP28, but is most deeply felt in the day-to-day work of subnational governments who are the first responders to climate change impacts. Inequality cannot be tackled without tackling climate change, and climate change cannot be tackled without tackling inequality. On 2 December, as part of the inaugural 

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Belém, Brazil's largest Amazonian city, to host COP30
December 18, 2023
During the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, Brazil’s bid to host COP30 in 2025, to be held in Belém, the most populous municipality in the state of Pará, part of the eastern Amazon region, was approved by consensus. In the face of the 

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Building resilience: Urban stories from the Global South at COP28
December 18, 2023
As our world urbanizes swiftly, cities like Melaka, Independencia, Lusaka, and Minas Gerais State are taking strides to transform climate challenges into opportunities for resilient, sustainable futures. Explore their stories of innovation and adaptation. Melaka, Malaysia: Integrating tourism into resilience plans “Mass tourism has created an economic boost for the city. The challenge is to 

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CHAMP: Catalyzing global climate goals through national and subnational cooperation
December 18, 2023
As the world grapples with the harsh reality of falling off the Paris Agreement track, the COP28 Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnership (CHAMP) for Climate Action, provides a small ray of hope for getting back on track. The initiative commits endorsing countries to enhance cooperation with their local, regional and other subnational governments – 

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No time to lose: the EU must bring multilevel governance home to implement COP28 outcomes
December 18, 2023
Climate negotiations in Dubai at COP28 have been unprecedented in many ways, not the least in securing agreement on the Loss and Damage Financing Mechanism on its first day and paving the way for ending the fossil fuel era. Among others, one of the most notable aspects of COP28 was the role that subnational level 

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Tracing youth: ICLEI's youth engagement at COP28
December 15, 2023
Did you know that half of the planet’s inhabitants are 35 or younger and will represent 60% of the urban population by the end of 2030? These facts reinforce the urgency to amplify youth voices and ensure their active participation in steering a sustainable future. Here’s how ICLEI took charge to involve youth in shaping 

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How can cities become catalysts for climate action innovation?
December 12, 2023
Urban innovation is not only about technology; it encompasses policy-making, finance, climate action communication, and even human interaction innovations. Explore how cities can not only address climate challenges but also reshape the narrative of existing possibilities by adopting human needs and solution-finding approaches for a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive urban landscape.    “Cities are already 

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Resilience Hubs in action: Cities leading the way
December 9, 2023
More than twenty cities worldwide are recognized as Resilience Hubs, a certification given to cities when they achieve a high level of resilience. Explore the latest initiatives from Bonn, Germany, and the recent addition to this network, Venice, Italy, as they embark on their journey toward an inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable urban landscape.   

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Local youth voices going global: Uganda’s youth-led stocktake
December 9, 2023
Under the #Stocktake4ClimateEmergency initiative, 26 cities and regions staged their local events that officially contributed to the first Global Stocktake. Three of these were led by youth from Africa in Accra, Ghana; Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda. Leading the charge behind Kampala’s event is Walter Osigai Etipesit, a youth climate advocate who firmly believes in 

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Key takeaways for cities and subnationals at INC-3
December 8, 2023
This blog was written by Dr Magash Naidoo, Head of Circular Development, ICLEI World Secretariat One thing has become clear, there is a lot at stake. Our health, our natural environment, our economies, and our social equity. Yet, there are many narrow interests being pursued that make pursuing the ‘greater good’ objectives of the UNEA 

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Cities’ leadership inspires food and climate action on the global stage
December 8, 2023
This blog was written by Peter Defranceschi, Head ICLEI CityFood Program Never before has there been an international climate conference that emphasizes the urgent need to not only put food on the table, but also include it in climate negotiations.  In fact, COP28 has a dedicated Food Day every day and the Emirates Declaration on 

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Townhall COPs energizing Global Stocktake towards and beyond COP28
December 5, 2023
In the lead-up to COP28, 26 cities and regions hosted their local events that officially contributed to the first Global Stocktake by turning their town halls into COP venues. Explore the process, the outcomes, and practical examples of this inventory exercise that brings cities and regions’ voices into global climate discussions.  As COP28 unfolds in 

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Working together to usher in just and sustainable energy transitions for people and planet
December 3, 2023
Worldwide, national and subnational governments are setting targets and developing policies to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy systems that ensure energy security and climate neutrality. Global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine make the need for this energy transition even more critical. Implementing such a transition requires collaborating 

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