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Localizing the Global Stocktake: Subnational governments making a global impact on climate change

Under the #Stocktake4ClimateEmergency banner, 28 cities and regions have staged their local events that officially contribute to the first Global Stocktake by turning their municipalities into mini-COP venues. Here is a deep-dive into real case examples from Hoboken and Denver in the USA and Rosario in Argentina.

This blog was written by Anne Marie Cleary from ICLEI USA and Barbara Riedemann from ICLEI World Secretariat

 

Fostering climate justice through Hoboken’s climate action plan and local stocktake 

In 2021, the United States submitted its second Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), outlining goals such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving a net-zero emissions economy. Hoboken is beginning a 5-year reassessment of its 2019 Climate Action Plan to prepare the city for future challenges, continue to address NDCs, and promote climate justice and began to do so through its first local stocktake held on 31 October.

“Our recent Climate Stocktake is a powerful testament to Hoboken’s collective commitment to a sustainable future,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “We understand the need to reevaluate our Climate Action Plan to ensure our city is best prepared for the challenges of tomorrow while promoting climate justice, and I thank all the residents and community members who participated.” 

During the local stocktake, participants expressed optimism about achieving these goals, emphasizing the need for:

  • politically bipartisan efforts
  • federal policy guidance for private companies
  • technology investments, and
  • public awareness. 

 Participants also highlighted challenges, including:

  • resistance to change
  • abstract climate goals
  • financial impacts, and
  • the complex nature of fossil fuel use. 

Hoboken residents, well-informed about climate change, aspire for their city to be a model in meeting and exceeding NDCs, urging federal leadership to reject fossil fuel projects and prioritize renewable energy initiatives, especially for disadvantaged communities in flood-prone areas.

The City of Hoboken, guided by its 2019 Climate Action Plan, strives to reduce emissions, achieve carbon neutrality, and promote sustainability. However, Hoboken seeks federal support and resources to achieve its ambitious goals, as exemplified by the City Council’s resolution against major fossil fuel projects in New Jersey. 

 

Mayor Bhalla praised Hoboken’s sustainability commitment through the Climate Stocktake, thanking residents for shaping the city’s Climate Action Plan.

 

Denver’s local stocktake amplifies community voices for global impact

On 2 November 2nd, 2023, the City of Denver hosted a local stocktake akin to a mini-Conference of the Parties (COP) to align with the global Paris Agreement. Mayor Mike Johnston shared his insights on the event, highlighting, “The Denver Stocktake mobilized community leaders to evaluate the impact of Denver’s climate leadership on a national and international level. We’re proud of Denver’s leadership on climate solutions, and we are excited to do far more in the years ahead.”

With support from ICLEI -Local Governments for Sustainability USA, the event honed in on three pivotal questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? Collaboratively, community members, climate task force representatives, and city officials explored strategies to propel local climate action in line with the Paris Agreement’s goals.

Participants analyzed Denver’s current climate actions in these discussions, stressing the city’s role in supporting U.S. Nationally Determined Contributions. Attention shifted towards advocating for a fair share approach, urging a reconsideration of meat consumption and endorsing strategies like reducing water-intensive industries. The participants highlighted the need for a holistic consideration of Scope 3 emissions, emphasizing consumption-based metrics. They underscored the importance of transforming abstract targets into measurable initiatives, fostering collaboration between the city and federal levels, and setting a global example in economic development and environmental stewardship.

Discussions in pursuing Denver’s climate goals emphasized the intersectionality of climate change and homelessness, prioritizing justice and equity perspectives in city initiatives. Education emerged as a cornerstone, emphasizing the importance of early and comprehensive sustainability education for long-term goals. The community’s aspirations for Denver’s future included:

  • A continued focus on environmental justice using dollars from Denver’s Climate Protection Fund
  • Equitable implementation of E-bike rebates, and.
  • A comprehensive consideration of climate solutions’ impact on community issues.

The key takeaways from the local stocktake were actively integrating climate justice, elevating community voices, and proactively increasing public education and outreach for a more equitable, inclusive, and informed approach to Denver’s climate action efforts.

 

Denver community members actively discussed “How Do We Get There?”—exploring strategies for the City to achieve climate goals equitably.

 

 

Rosario, pioneering the local stocktake in Latin America

Rosario is the only municipality in Latin America to hold a local stocktake showcasing its efforts to global progress to counter climate change. The city was one of the thirteen cities and regions selected by ICLEI as the LGMA Constituency’s focal point to receive the Global South Fund, a financial support for cities and regions to host their mini-COP events.

In partnership with the Centro Cultural Parque de España, Rosario Municipality featured a series of meetings dubbed “Agora por el Clima” (Agora for Climate). During the third session, last 26 October, under the slogan “Climate action is cultural,” the local stocktake gathered various stakeholders, including civil society, NGOs, and municipal authorities, to discuss climate action.

“The global stocktake of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change represents a unique opportunity to influence global decisions and ensure that climate action is enriched by the innovation and commitment of our community,” said Pilar Bueno, Undersecretary for Climate Change and Just Ecological Transition of Rosario Municipality.

The event’s main highlight was a discussion on the Local Climate Action Plan Rosario 2030 (PLAC 2030). This is a strategic tool that aims to transition Rosario into a resilient city by optimizing resource management. It promotes clean energy-efficiency use and the circular economy. The plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22% by 2030, comprising 10% for waste, 7% for mobility and 5% for energy.

When discussing “Where are we?,” participants agreed on Global North’s unaccountability role in causing climate change, which disproportionately affects the Global South. The discussion also highlighted social and economic inequalities that leave some populations lacking basic services and infrastructure, thereby increasing their vulnerability to climate risks, primarily floods, common in the city. In this regard, participants agreed on the importance of resilience actions, focusing on health. In addressing this, Rosario’s PLAC 2030 proposes guidelines for disease surveillance, prevention, and strategies to communicate the risks associated with climate change, including heat waves, cold waves, increased rainfall, and other events.

Rosario’s goals for the future are efficient, diversified, sustainable, and, especially, accessible management in:

  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Waste
  • Forests
Rosario’s main discussion was on its Local Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22% by 2030.

 

 

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