Ahead of COP26, city leaders are coming together at Daring Cities to advance and define their demands for the global climate conference in November – the ‘last chance’ to implement drastic climate action (IPCC Report, 2021). While negotiations will take place at the international level, national and subnational governments will be key implementing partners of COP26 outcomes, playing a crucial role in securing a stable climate and sustainable future.
If you want a preview of what will be hot on the COP26 agenda, then Daring Cities has you covered, with everything you need to know on urban climate action before Glasgow.
This is where cities are gearing up for COP26
The message at this year’s COP is that there is no time to lose. With Daring Cities’ high-level sessions on action in the climate emergency as well as real-life examples from cities globally, you’ll be well equipped to participate in, and make the most of, this year’s climate discussions.
The two-fold structure of the Daring Cities program – combining practical workshops and high-level sessions – offers hands-on, interactive elements with informative discussions from esteemed speakers. Don’t miss the high-level session ‘Leading by example’ on Monday 4 October, where you’ll hear local leaders, from South Korea to Indonesia, share concrete city examples of how they are accelerating towards net-zero, as well as techniques and approaches to inspire you. With the first of COP26’s four goals being to limit global warming to 1.5°C, this session will allow cities to learn from each other and optimize their local climate action strategies.
Seasoned practitioners in the field of climate will also share insights on climate monitoring, innovative tools, approaches and methods for strengthening cities’ ability to attain their net-zero targets during the workshops offered on 5 October and 7 October. A workshop that should be in your calendar is ‘Digitalization as a game changer in the climate emergency’ on Tuesday 5 October. Here, local governments will unpack how cutting-edge technology and data analysis can enable them to better understand their unique climate vulnerabilities and take on the climate emergency.
Seeing Cities Race to Zero up close and personal
The attainment of climate neutrality goals is at the core of Daring Cities and many urban leaders have been building momentum to meet net-zero emissions through the global Race to Zero campaign. Since COP25 in Madrid, 2019, the Race to Zero campaign has mobilized support from business and subnational government actors for net-zero, inclusive, resilient growth. As part of the campaign, cities pledge to: 1. Reduce GHG emissions to zero by 2050, 2. Create action plans, 3. Implement actions and 4. Report publicly on all progress – from targets to results, ensuring transparency and accountability along the way. COP26 will be the stage for exciting announcements on Race to Zero’s progress and the opportunity to hear about cities’ successes. One city to watch out for is Hoboken, US.
Hoboken has been pushing forward with its climate plan at an astonishing rate, aiming to reach net-zero by 2030, 20 years earlier than the collective commitment. The city plans to achieve this by improving community and municipal government infrastructure. Sustainable mobility is a community focus point with zoning for E-vehicle, bikes and pedestrians, while the municipality is embracing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The mayor of Hoboken, Ravi Bhalla, will be a guest speaker at Daring Cities’ session ‘The necessity to act now’, allowing you to get up close and personal with the Race to Zero and gain a sneak peak of key climate neutrality announcements before Glasgow. Hoboken is just one of many Race to Zero municipalities that you’ll get to know throughout the course of Daring Cities 2021.
Champions of multilevel action
Daring Cities is calling for the fourth goal of COP26: ‘Work together to deliver’ to explicitly include multilevel action and collaboration. Multilevel action acknowledges that different government levels are mutually dependent when it comes to fulfilling the Paris Agreement, with local governments requiring enabling frameworks from national and international actors to realise their climate mitigation and adaptation potential.
On Wednesday 6 October at day 3 of Daring Cities, two key sessions advocate explicitly for Multilevel & collaborative action (II). Hear leaders like Nicola Beech, Cabinet Lead for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy, Bristol City Council, UK, discuss how national climate ambitions are being translated into local actions and how cities are demanding greater multilevel action and collaboration in order to reach 2030 goals. Or tune in for the alternative Multilevel & collaboration (I) session as local and regional government leaders examine what is needed at multiple levels to put words into action and deliver critical climate action that treats the climate emergency with the urgency it requires.
Meet the community that is driving forward urban climate action
Collaboration is necessary in all directions, horizontally as well as vertically, and Daring Cities is the meeting point for ambitious, conscientious local leaders. The virtual format means citymakers from across the world will be attending and strengthening their partnerships ahead of COP26. As an attendee, you’ll join a global community of inspiring thinkers and doers, innovators and pioneers, policy makers and administrators, engineers and planners, environmentalists and developers, professionals and business people, as well as artists and designers, with opportunities to connect with other attendees directly after each event session and to engage in in-depth discussions and exchange. As a Daring Cities community member, you’ll also get exclusive access to our community resources, which can be used all-year round.