Local and Regional Authorities engaging in Climate change negotiation


The Climate change Conference of Parties, COP 19, is taking place in Warsaw from 11 to 22 November. Following the lack of agreement in Copenhagen in 2009, States agreed 2 years ago in Durban to work towards a new international climate action agreement by 2015 that would be applicable to all countries. Warsaw is only one step in this process to find a long-term approach and a durable international agreement for tackling climate change are needed.

In the framework of this process leading to COP 21 in Paris, 5 key global issues can be identified:

1) Architecture and Process for an International Climate Agreement: A new approach to the negotiations is emerging, aimed at creating an international process, based on “national offers” . Final “offers” from this process would be underpinned by an agreement with binding, international rules on issues like transparency.

2) Equity: the distinction set-up by previous climate agreements between developed and developing countries can no longer be maintain given that some of them have become the biggest CO2 emitters of the planet. As a result, addressing equity will be key in identifying which countries should be responsible for taking what types of action.

3) Finance: Financing climate actions remains a key issue. States will have to move forward their commitment to mobilise $100 billion annually by 2020, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) pledging process and discuss of the overall balance of funding for adaptation and mitigation, which is currently weighted heavily towards mitigation.

4) Loss and Damage: A new issue has progressively emerged in the negotiation since last year in Doha looking at how to address the needs of communities who will be harmed by climate impacts that are difficult or impossible to adapt to. Discussions at Warsaw will revolve around creating strategies to address the harm caused by long-term climate impacts.

5) Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) and Accountability: Warsaw could reach an agreement on the verification pillar of MRV (measurement, reporting and verification) for developing countries, which involves assessments of developing countries’ biennial reports on their mitigation actions and financial support received.

Information and analysis extracted from: 5 Issues to Watch at COP 19, the “Construction COP published by the World Resource Institute.


Local governments in Warsaw

UCLG, ICLEI and nrg4SD members are gathered under the “Local Government Climate Roadmap”, adopted in 2007 to ensure recognition, engagement and empowerment of local and regional governments in the new global climate regime, and engaged in a new activity phase toward Paris in 2015. Its messages can be found in Nantes Declaration of Mayors and Subnational Leaders on Climate Change, adopted in September 2013 and further presented to the Global Taskforce meeting in Rabat on 1st October (Please find attached).

The constituency is working in Warsaw to secure a greater collaboration with States, and a financial framework to fund local climate action: a “Friends of Cities” Group among national governments at the UNFCCC was established to this end.

The constituency will also participate to the special event “Cities Day”, a new and encouraging initiative from the host country who is conveying states and local authorities for a half day dialogue on the second week of the negotiations to discuss the local and subnational governments engagement in the climate change agenda and action plan.

The COP in Warsaw is seen as a step towards a new agreement in 2015 in Paris COP 21. Local authorities are ready and looking for a greater role in those agreements.

Check the “Local governments in the run-up to Paris Climate 2015 : from local stakeholders to global facilitators” written by Ronan Dantec, councilor of Nantes, French Senator and UCLG spokesperson on climate and Michel Delbarre, French Senator Mayor of Dunkerque and President of Cités Unies France.

The Local governments’ delegation will provide updates from Warsaw in the upcoming days.