Latin America leading: From ICLEI World Congress 2024 to COP30

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 moment for São Paulo to showcase its sustainability leadership but marks a milestone for Brazil and Latin America’s involvement in global sustainability efforts.

São Paulo’s unwavering commitment to sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlights its leadership role in the global climate movement. The city has pioneered dozens of initiatives, from reducing carbon emissions to innovative waste management strategies. For instance, São Paulo is expanding the network of dedicated bus lanes and transitioning to a greener bus fleet to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. It is also promoting urban agriculture initiatives, transforming underutilized spaces into productive gardens that support local food security and foster community engagement. Additionally, the city is enhancing its green spaces, creating more parks to provide residents with recreational areas and conserving a massive amount of green areas to improve urban biodiversity.


From local to national and regional

In the next few years, Brazil will play a vital role in shaping global climate policy. The country holds the presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20), a governmental forum for international economic cooperation, and will host COP30, the UN Climate Change Conference, in Belém in 2025.

Brazil’s engagement in these areas, as well as its prominent role in the BRICS coalition and its endorsement of the COP28 Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Action Partnerships (CHAMP), underscores its commitment to addressing global climate challenges. Rodrigo Perpétuo, Executive Secretary of ICLEI South America, points out, “COP30 in Belém will turn the world’s attention towards the reality of emerging countries.”

Moreover, as stewards of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil has a profound global responsibility for biodiversity conservation and climate resilience. Perpétuo emphasizes the importance of joint efforts across municipal, state, and federal governments, stating, “This is a crucial moment for joint action to create ambitious, integrated, and urgent sustainable policies. By the time we host the 2025 COP on Amazonian and Brazilian soil, we aim to deliver a message that we are actively working towards a greener, more resilient future in harmony with nature.”

Latin America, as the world’s most urbanized region, plays a pivotal role in global climate action due to its rich natural resources and unique environmental challenges. With all three UN conventions meeting in 2024, including the Biodiversity COP in Colombia in October, the region’s significance in the global environmental agenda is more pronounced than ever. Perpétuo stresses the need for cities to align with global environmental commitments and access technical resources and climate finance. “These priorities have been at the core of the ICLEI meetings touring Brazilian cities since 2022, including a recent meeting in April 2024 in Belém,” he adds.

The ICLEI World Congress in June 2024 serves as a crucial platform for dialogue, collaboration, and knowledge exchange. It coincides with the 2024 U20 Mayors Summit Sherpa Meeting to conclude the Mayoral Declaration and the Metropolis Executive Bureau.

The Congress will also be a moment for the UNFCCC Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency to announce their roadmap towards the next COPs (COP29 in Baku in 2024 and COP30 in Belém in 2025). As the final gathering of ICLEI leaders before the UN Summit of the Future in September 2024, it offers a unique opportunity to chart a course towards a sustainable future with cities squarely at the helm.

Yunus Arikan, ICLEI’s Director of Global Advocacy, reflects on the progress made since COP28 in Dubai, saying, “The real success of COP28 and the new era it heralds will depend on the success of COP30 in Belém, where multilevel climate action will be key. By hosting another global sustainability conference 33 years after the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, Brazil will reconnect climate and development agendas, bridge urban-rural communities, and secure synergy among efforts on climate emergency, nature protection, and land degradation.”

Events like the ICLEI World Congress play a pivotal role in empowering communities and leaders to address the challenges and opportunities of the climate emergency. As we strive for a greener, more resilient future, the collective efforts of cities, regions, and nations will be essential in achieving our shared environmental goals.Join us in São Paulo on 18-21 June 2024 and be part of this transformative event. Register at