C40-ICLEI-UCLG Joint Letter

ICLEI - Now is the time for #CitiesIPCC

IPCC 5th Assessment Report Cities Summary - Key Findings

Dr. Hoesung Lee, Chair of IPCC, address at ICLEI Seoul World Congress 2015

Dr. Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC WG-II and Special Advisor of ICLEI Global Executive Committee, address at Resilient Cities Congress

Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor of Paris, address at IPCC COP21 Side Event

ICLEI Joins Campaign for IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change

ICLEI supports the proposal for the preparation of a Special Report on Cities and Climate Change (SRCC) as part of upcoming 6th Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

UPDATES FROM IPCC 43RD SESSION in Nairobi on 11-13 APRIL 2016

List of organizations that endorse the campaign:

  • Association Internationale des Maires Francophones (AIMF)
  • C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group 
  • Cities Alliance 
  • Climate Alliance 
  • Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF)
  • Communitas Coalition
  • Compact of Mayors
  • Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
  • Energy Cities
  • European Committee of the Regions (CoR)
  • Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments
  • ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI)
  • LSE Cities
  • The International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP)
  • Metropolis - World Association of the Major Metropolises
  • Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4sd)
  • Platforma
  • Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • Sustainable Development Center
  • Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN)
  • United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
  • United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
  • World Resources Institute (WRI)
  • WWF

On April 11-13, 2016, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will meet at its 43rd Session in Nairobi, Kenya to decide on its work program for the next reporting cycle - the 6th Assessment Report (AR6) includes an agreement on the list of Special Reports. Submission by South African Government for an IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change is one of the 28 proposals that will be considered at the meeting.

The proposal has also received quite a bit of positive feedback: the World Climate Research Program ranks the proposal among its top three lists, UNESCO refers to the linkage to its Megacities and Water Alliance, Co-Chairs of all 3 IPCC Working Groups have also provided very encouraging comments and UN-Habitat links the proposal to HABITAT III.

Following the recognition of cities and other non-party stakeholders by the Paris Agreement, this report would be a major breakthrough in terms of knowledge and leadership, and would consolidate the role of cities as permanent key players in the climate agenda. That is why ICLEI, C40 and many other city champions are appealing to cities and citizens to lobby their national government to vote for Cities and Climate Change during the IPCC 43rd Session next month.

Local and subnational governments have always been supportive of the work of IPCC. Cities are already facing the impacts of climate change and are highly vulnerable to a range of climate hazards, including sea level rise, street flooding, landslides, droughts, epidemics and severe heat waves, which threaten the heath, well-being and livelihood of citizens.

Cities are integral to fighting climate change. While they are responsible for 37–49% of global GHG emissions, and urban infrastructure accounts for over 70% of global energy use, research shows that urban policy decisions made by 2020 could determine up to a third of the remaining global carbon budget that is not already ‘locked-in’ by past decisions.

In the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5) released in 2014, a chapter on urban areas was dedicated within the scope of Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.

The proposal for an entire Special Report devoted to cities represents an enormous opportunity for their role in the global response to climate change to be recognized.

An IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change would act as the most comprehensive global resource on this topic, gathering in a single document all the long-term scientific evidence and disperse research on climate impacts, challenges and solutions to climate action in cities.

"Such a special IPCC Report would mobilize huge potential to strengthen and advance the existing scientific information and knowledge on cities and climate change," says ICLEI Secretary General, Gino Van Begin. "It would also demonstrate strong support for engaging all levels of government in the implementation of the Paris Agreement as well as advancing with the Sustainable Development Goal 11 on sustainable cities and human settlements and contribute to the preparations of the Habitat III conference in Quito this October."

How to Support the Campaign

You can submit a request to your national government, calling for an IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change, through a phone call or email to your country’s IPCC National Focal Point. In addition, a social media campaign with #CitiesIPCC is launched urging urban citizens to appeal to their national governments to vote for this report

About the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts. In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC.

The IPCC reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socioeconomic information produced worldwide relevant to the understandin­g of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters.

Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. The IPCC aims to reflect a range of views and expertise. Because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature, the IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers. By endorsing the IPCC reports, governments acknowledge the authority of their scientific content. The work of the organization is therefore policy‐relevant and yet policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive.

For more info please visit: www.ipcc.ch.  


- In his capacity as the Chair of IPCC and winner of 2007 Nobel Prize, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri addressed Local Government Climate Roadmap Sessions along the margins of UN Poznan Climate Change Conference (COP14) in 2008.

- ICLEI is an accredited observer to IPCC since 2009.

- In his capacity as the Vice-Chair of IPCC Working Group-I, Dr. Jean-Pascal addressed the World Mayors Summit on Climate Change in Nantes in September 2013.

- During the preparations of latest IPCC Assessment Report (AR5) released in 2014, two ICLEI nominated scientists were involved as lead authors.

- In May 2014, ICLEI prepared a Cities Summary of IPCC AR5 as part of the collaboration with the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Judge Business School, with the support of the European Climate Foundation.

- In August 2014, ICLEI contributed to the work of the IPCC Task Force on National GHG Inventories, pursuant to its work through the Global Protocol on Community Based GHG Emissions (GPC) within the scopeof Urban LEDS Project.

- In October 2015, ICLEI welcome the election of the new IPCC Bureau, including Dr. Debra Roberts from eThekwini Municipality and Special Advisor to ICLEI Global Executive Committee as the Co-Chair of the Working Group-II on Adaptation and Dr. Hoseung Lee from Republic of Korea who addressed ICLEI World Congress in Seoul in April 2015 in his capacity as IPCC Co-Chair.

- On 30 November 2015, along the UN Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), ICLEI supported the IPCC COP21 Side Event on Communication through the participation of Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor of Paris as one of the speakers of the panel.

Other relevant work of ICLEI in relation to IPCC

- In June 2012, within the scope of the preparations of Rio+20, UNEP and ICLEI released the Global Environment Outlook 5 (GEO5) for Local Government, as the first supplement of the GEO5 series.

- On 2 December 2015, alongside the UN Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) ICLEI supported the UNESCO on the launch of the "Megacities Alliance for Water and Climate"

- On 4 December 2015, at the Paris City Hall, ICLEI supported the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) at the launch of the city leaders summary of the 2nd Assessment Report of Cities and Climate Change (ARC3-2).

- ICLEI operates the carbonn Climate Registry as the world´s leading reporting platform to enhance transparency, accountability and credibility of climate action of local and subnational governments. The 2010-2015 Overview compiles information from 608 cities and regions, with an aggregate commitment of 1 billion tCO2e GHG reduction by 2020. It is designated as the central repository of the Compact of Mayors launched at the UN Climate Summit 2014.

- Since 2010, ICLEI has been convening the Resilient Cities Congress, the annual global forum on urban resilience and adaptation in Bonn, Germany, as a milestone event connecting local government leaders and climate adaptation experts to discuss adaptation challenges facing urban environments around the globe.

- ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center collaborates with the Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity, Stockholm Resilience Center and other partners in the development of Cities Biodiversity Outlook.

- The ICLEI Case Study series highlights the role of ICLEI Members and other local governments as key drivers and implementers of urban sustainable development across the globe by illustrating successful approaches, innovative models and transferable good practices in the field of urban development and sustainability initiatives. As of 2016, a total of 187 ICLEI Case Studies have been published.

- ICLEI acts as the focal point of Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency (LGMA) at the UNFCCC. In this capacity, ICLEI facilitated the Local Government Climate Roadmap between 2007-2015 which resulted remarkable achievements in the recognition, engagement and empowerment of local and subnational governments in the global climate regime. ICLEI is also a lead member of Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments.

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