Emani Kumar

ICLEI Deputy Secretary General
Regional Director, ICLEI South Asia Secretariat

ICLEI South Asia has come to COP25 to bring the voice of our city and regional governments to these negotiations. We are looking for direction from our national governments, to know if there is a role for us to play with their work to become more ambitious in their climate targets.

And though NDCs are not being reviewed until next year, some signals seem positive in South Asia. In India, over 70 cities have GHG inventories, and 30 have resilient city action plans. Recently, the national government of India, with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, has come out with the ClimateSMART Cities Assessment Framework. Cities are being asked to assess their climate actions twice a year. This is a clear example of the national government giving direction on climate action to city governments, encouraging them to take it forward. Simliar efforts are happening in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Our local governments are committed to sustainability – this we know. And they are already implementing extensive climate actions. But if we are also supported through finance and technical resources, then everything can happen much faster. What we’re really talking about here is the speed at which we can move, and we’re in a time when speed is critical.