Photo credit: City of Quito

Quito is driving multilevel climate action through Talanoa Dialogue

On 4 May, 2018, the City of Quito, Ecuador hosted a Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue that brought together representatives of local and national government in Ecuador along with key national and international climate stakeholders. The dialogue aimed to ensure that cities are reflected in the revised version of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Ecuador.

The Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues are a series of in-country climate consultations designed to kick off a collaborative process involving all levels of government. As part of the global Talanoa process, the Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues are a bottom-up, proactive and immediate response by local and regional governments to the global call for multistakeholder conversations on climate action worldwide.

Hosted by the city of Quito under the leadership of Mayor Mauricio Rodas, this Ecuador Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue engaged representatives from the local and national level including the Minister of Environment and the Vice-Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. This dialogue was the starting point for future collaboration designed to raise the level of ambition in the NDC of Ecuador.

The dialogue culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that established the National Consultative Committee of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) in Ecuador to serve as the coordination mechanism on cities and climate change strategy in the country.

The Committee includes representatives from the Municipality of Quito, the Association of Municipalities of Ecuador (AME), the Ministry of Environment and WWF Ecuador with support from ICLEI. It is a mechanism to institutionalize the vertical integration of climate action between the different levels of government and other stakeholders and will become a working group in which members will be able to influence the inclusion of local climate action in the NDCs and support local governments in their commitments to climate action.

At the Quito Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue, Mayor Rodas spoke on the importance of integrating climate finance into national investment plans: “It is essential to improve the coordination between local governments and national development banks in order to facilitate access to international development banking and strengthen local climate action. But this coordination requires political will and the support of national governments which is subject to the politics of each individual country.”

Mayor Rodas has been a strong voice in driving local climate action at the global level, helping to lay the groundwork for the Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues through his involvement in the adoption of the Bonn-Fiji Commitment of Local and Regional Leaders at COP23 by 300+ local and regional leaders. The Bonn-Fiji Commitment along with the call for local and regional engagement in the Paris Agreement clearly called for inclusive, multilevel collaboration on climate. Now, through the Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue that sets the scene for increased ambition and collaboration, Quito is leading the way in delivering on these goals.

Last December at the One Planet Summit, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) launched a Call for Vertical Integration of Local Authorities in national climate investment plans spearheaded by Mayor Rodas in his capacity as Global Covenant of Mayors Board Member in collaboration with the Mayors of Buenos Aires, Medellin, Mexico City and Sevilla.

Cities are making concrete contributions to climate action that can strengthen and help raise ambition in the NDCs. For example, Quito was one of the first cities in the region to measure its carbon footprint, carry out a vulnerability study and develop its climate action plan, which includes the construction of the metro as a zero emissions form of transport and aims to make the historic city center an emissions free zone by 2020.


Read more on the Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues here.

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