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EU reference of Urban-LEDS in UNFCCC capacity building committee

In an official submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) the European Union argues for capacity-building in cities and regions under the Convention’s capacity-building framework and references the Urban-LEDS project as a successful example.

As part of the UNFCCC capacity-building framework, the Paris Committee on Capacity Building was established at COP21 in December 2015. The objectives of this Committee will be to address current and future capacity building gaps and needs in developing countries.

While the deadline to formalize the Paris Committee on Capacity Building is in November at COP22 in Marrakech, Parties to the UNFCCC have been invited to submit their views on how the Committee should improve capacity-building for developing countries and who should sit on it.

A few days ago the UNFCCC published a compilation of all these submissions, including the submission of the European Union which proposes a strong involvement of non-Party stakeholders, such as local and subnational governments. The European Union’s suggestions include fostering global, regional, national and subnational cooperation and identifying opportunities to strengthen capacity at national, regional and subnational level.

To back these suggestions, the EU cites the Urban-LEDS project as an example of successful capacity-building at the local level. Between 2012 and 2016, the Urban-LEDS project, implemented by ICLEI and UN-Habitat has supported the transition to low emission development in 37 developing cities across Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa. By providing a methodological framework known as the GreenClimateCities (GCC) process guidance, tailor-made trainings, study tours, workshops and seminars the project has helped 8 local governments to finalize Low Emission Development Strategies. Overall, more than 60 pilot projects have been implemented.

KwaDukuza and Steve Tshwete Municipalities are two of the project cities in South Africa. Through Urban-LEDS, they have both developed Low Emission Development Strategies but most importantly, both municipalities are now exploring a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 42% aligned with the national government’s long-term mitigation commitment and Climate Change Response Strategy. This achievement is a great example of how cities and regions can contribute to national climate commitments and it strongly supports the case for integrating subnational governments in their design.

This is a huge success, which crowns the impressive achievements of the Urban-LEDS project and will hopefully lead the way to more involvement of cities and regions in the Paris Committee on Capacity Building.

The next round of UNFCCC talks will be held in Bonn from 16-27 May, with a special focus on the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

More information

For more information on Urban-LEDS please consult the final report.
For more information on the Paris Agreement, please consult "The Paris Climate Package: A Basic Guide for Local and Subnational Governments".