Lima united countries for climate action, Paris must bring all actors on board

The new global climate regime must engage and empower local and subnational governments in order to guarantee a low-carbon, climate-resilient world towards and beyond 2020.


17 December 2014, Bonn, Germany - ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability welcomes the outcomes of the recently concluded UN Climate Change Conference (COP20/CMP10), specifically the Lima Call for Climate Action, but encourages all countries to urgently mobilize enabling frameworks and resources to tap into the ambitious commitments of local and subnational governments.

The Lima Call for Climate Action elaborates the elements of the new climate regime to be adopted in Paris in 2015, while also agreeing on the ground rules for how countries can submit contributions to the new agreement during the first quarter of the next year.

“The Lima Call for Climate Action succeeded in aligning the bottom-up commitments of national governments as building blocks of the future climate regime”, said ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin.

Van Begin continued: “However, without the full engagement of all actors, there is a high risk of failure, considering the existing huge gap between the current national mitigation pledges and the recommendations proposed by science.”

Lima was expected to advance in both of the negotiations workstreams towards Paris 2015 (ADP). Workstream-1 focuses on a climate regime that will be adopted in Paris 2015 and will apply after 2020, whereas Workstream-2 aims to raise the global level of ambitions in the pre-2020 period.

However, as most governments spent most of their time clarifying the main principles of Workstream-1, no significant progress has been achieved on Workstream-2. This is despite the intensive discussions throughout the ADP Technical Expert Meetings in 2014, including on urban environment, and the ambitious action partnerships announced at the Climate Summit 2014, hosted by the UN Secretary General in New York on 23 September.

“It is very clear that in Lima, countries have decided to clarify the rules of the game in the Post-2015 period first. They needed time to digest all the ambitious inputs put forward by local and subnational governments, which may be taken on further during the 2015 negotiations,” said Van Begin.

“From Lima to Paris, countries must now focus on engaging and empowering local and subnational governments, in order to enhance their contribution in raising the level of ambitions. Every single contribution on mitigation and adaptation by any actor should be incentivized, acknowledged and accounted for, ” closed Van Begin.

Local governments shine at COP20

Throughout COP20, local and subnational governments gave a powerful demonstration of the potential impacts of local climate action. ICLEI, in its role as the focal point of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency, facilitated the Local Government Climate Roadmap Lima Dialogues – a series of dialogues and events aiming to advance the recognition, engagement and empowerment of local governments in the climate regime.

The highlights of the Lima Dialogues include:

  • The Lima Dialogues High-Level Event saw over 400 participants including Mayors, city representatives and experts discussing concrete local climate action plans. Held on 8 December 2014, the event was hosted by the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima, and was supported by the Polish and Peruvian Governments as Presidencies of COP19 and COP20, as well as by the UNFCCC Secretariat.
  • The Lima Communiqué – an outcome document outlining the position of local and subnational governments – was released. The Communiqué calls for an inclusive and ambitious post-2015 climate regime, the scaling up of local and subnational actions and initiatives, and the formulation of national programs and plans of action. It also commits mayors and local and subnational leaders to accelerating global advocacy and raising climate ambitions.
  • ICLEI supported representatives, Mayors and city officials through their interventions at the High Level Climate Action Dialogue, the High Level Segment of COP20/CMP10, the Opening Ceremony of COP20/CMP10, the ADP 2.7, Opening Session and the High Level Ministerial Dialogue on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. 
  • The launch of the Global Protocol for Community Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), the new international standard for GHG accounting and reporting by cities, developed by ICLEI, C40 and WRI. 
  • The launch of the new NAZCA (Non-state Actors Zone for Climate Action) data platform is one mechanism that could turn the tide in favor of cities and subnational governments, giving governments the confidence to sign an ambitious climate agreement in Paris. Accessible via climateaction.unfccc.int, the NAZCA platform showcases thousands of climate action data, many of which have been supplied by ICLEI’s carbonn Climate Registry (cCR), the world’s leading reporting platform for local and subnational climate action, also acting as the central repository of the Compact of Mayors. 
  • The announcement of the 500th local government – Bristol, UK – to report to the carbonn Climate Registry, raising the tally to over 5,000 reported climate adaptation and mitigation actions, over 1,000 climate and energy commitments and 2.28 gigatonnes of reported GHG emissions.
  • The ICLEI delegation, composed of Mayors and city officials from Belo Horizonte, Recife, Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Bogota (Colombia) Mexico City (Mexico), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Montevideo (Uruguay), Tokyo and Kitakyushu (Japan), Taipei (Taiwan) Seoul (South Korea), Province of Barcelona (Spain), Paris and Nantes (France), Durban/eThekwini Municipality and Tshwane (South Africa) and Dakar (Senegal), actively participated in various side events and high-level dialogues alongside COP20. These include: Transport Day, The Sustainable Innovation Forum, Climate and Health Summit, GLOBE Summit, the Climate-KIC side event, the High-Level Event at City Hall (Dec.8), and the ICLEI-IPU Side Event - "From Vision to Action" - endorsed as a Lima Climate Action Highlight by the COP20 Presidency.

“It is time for all to be bold, ambitious and inclusive before we reach a point of no-return” said ICLEI President David Cadman.

“We send a clear message to national governments that we are and have always been here to support you. It is now time for you to support us”, remarked Lima, Peru Mayor Susana Villaran.

“The Peruvian Presidency enabled us to keep our hopes high by hosting the Lima Climate Action High-Level Meeting, which is recommended to be a good practice in upcoming sessions, and by launching the new NAZCA (Non-state Actors Zone for Climate Action) data platform,” said ICLEI Head of Global Policy and Advocacy Yunus Arikan.

Arikan continued: “Starting on February 2015, we will continue to provide inputs in the negotiations towards Paris 2015 and recall countries to focus on the key policy options on the table contained in the UNFCCC ADP technical Paper, which already includes the option for establishment of a formal work programme for nations to work with city and subnational governments”.


For an overview of the Local Government Climate Roadmap activites, visit www.iclei.org/cop20cities

For a multimedia roundup of ICLEI's time at the COP20, please click here

Media Contact Katrina Borromeo, Head of ICLEI Communications, +4922897629916



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