6 May Talanoa Dialogue. Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth (http://enb.iisd.org/climate/sb48/6may.html)

Representatives of the LGMA at the closing plenary of the Talanoa Dialogue.

On the way to Katowice, Bonn conference reinforces multilevel climate action to deliver Paris Agreement

Amidst limited progress in the official negotiations, cities and regions are bringing their actions to the table and are set to collaborate with national governments in advancing the Paris Agreement.

At the midyear climate talks in Bonn, nations prepare for the annual Conference of the Parties (COP). Among the top issues at play in Bonn were the Talanoa Dialogue and Paris Rulebook negotiations. Both will help define how local and regional governments engage in global climate action going forward.

The Paris Agreement directly calls for engaging local and regional governments in delivering on Paris goals. It specifically calls for subnational action on adaptation and capacity building. Local and regional governments are advancing to answer the call of the Paris Agreement, and their commitment was visible in Bonn.

Talanoa Dialogue

Local and regional governments are engaging in climate action on the world stage through the Talanoa Dialogue, an open, inclusive and innovative stocktaking exercise launched last year in Bonn at COP23 designed to improve the delivery and ambition of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) with a view to raising ambition.

The Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues, facilitated by ICLEI, invite national governments to a dialogue with regional and local governments to enhance national commitments by bridging climate action with urban policy and engaging all levels of government. Fifty dialogues are scheduled to take place around the world throughout the course of 2018 and key outputs are already being seen from sessions hosted by cities as diverse as Jakarta, Bonn and Quito.

ICLEI and partners engaging in Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues have submitted their initial contributions to the Talanoa Dialogue directly to the UNFCCC – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – so that these inputs can be taken into account in negotiations in Katowice.

Local and regional governments were present alongside nations and climate stakeholders at the official Talanoa Dialogue on 6 May Sunday. Representatives of Quito and Bonn also spoke on behalf of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency at the opening and closing plenaries respectively. Both cities have hosted Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues and their statements stressed the critical role that multilevel governance can play in raising ambition and accelerating implementation of NDCs.

Thematic action

The Bonn talks resulted in the newly announced Nairobi Work Programme Action Pledge that will focus on tracking progress in the cities and climate change science-policy-practice interface aiming to strengthen NDCs and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). ICLEI will facilitate this action pledge by convening an annual meeting in the margins of midyear Bonn talks back to back with the Resilient Cities Congress on cities and climate change science. The annual meeting will be implemented in collaboration the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme (NWP), the IPCC Secretariat, the City of Bonn and members of the CitiesIPCC Global Partnership.

The outcomes of the activities of the working groups of the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB) recognized the role of subnational and city-level actors in implementing capacity-building activities for NDC implementation, where ICLEI is recognized as a leading institution. In line with the Paris Agreement, the LGMA constituency is prepared to cooperate in addressing gaps and needs of capacity building activities.

ICLEI also delivered LGMA interventions at the opening and closing of the 2-weeks negotiations agendas, as well as highlighted experience of its members and partners in the implementation of programs focusing on education, awareness, and public participation, or technical expert meetings focusing on role of circular economy in support of climate action.

Over the course of the Bonn talks, ICLEI hosted a side event on fostering multilevel climate governance and participated in other side-events such as those hosted by the UCLG, Women in Europe for a Common Future and Association Climate Chance, on access to finance, on adaptation by Nairobi Work Programme, on the local dimensions of NDCs and 100% Renewables by Global 100% RE Platform and a collaboration on monitoring of climate action by Republic of Korea and the UN Climate Change Secretariat. ICLEI also supported the public demonstration of civil society and stakeholders and underlined the role of climate neutral cities and regions to reach 1.5oC goal of Paris Agreement.

The sum of these engagements by cities and regions and their networks demonstrates that local and regional governments are accelerating climate action at the ground level and are set to work with national governments in strengthening the NDCs for multilevel implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Paris Agreement rulebook

The deadline to finalize the rules for implementing the Paris Agreement is this December at COP24 in Katowice. This year’s negotiations are therefore critical to lay the groundwork for a robust rulebook that ensures the Paris Agreement delivers its full potential to achieve the 1.5-degree warming target.

By all accounts, nations made efforts to achieve balanced progress in all items in the Paris Agreement. An additional session scheduled for September in Bangkok will lay a stronger groundwork for Katowice this December.


See a full list of LGMA engagements at the Bonn talks here.

See photos of LGMA engagements at the Bonn talks here.

ICLEI webinars on SB48 Outcomes and Talanoa Dialogues will be held on 16 May Wednesday at 10:00 and 16:00 Central European Summer Time.

Check UN Climate Change Secretariat, Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Climate Home News and Carbon Brief for other reporting on UN Bonn Climate Change Conference 2018.

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