An unprecedented commitment to action

 

DISCOURSE BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES (LGMA) CONSTITUENCY AT THE PARIS PRECOP21 HIGH LEVEL CONSULTATIONS WITH OBSERVERS, 8 November 2015

 

Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency, we thank you for the kind invitation of the Presidencies of COP210 and COP21 to participate at this high level dialogue today. 

In 22 days, the world will be anxiously following your efforts to collectively agree on an inclusive and ambitious Paris Climate Package as the outcome of COP21. An inclusive and ambitious Paris Climate Package is essential for 2 reasons: 

  • Firstly, the current individual pledges of national governments through their INDCs may curb trajectories but are not sufficient to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius before the end of this Century, as requested by the IPCC.  A failure in Paris on a global framework will just worsen this scenario. 
  • Secondly, a failure in the UNFCCC process will also nullify the progress achieved in the post 2015 development agenda. It is not possible to transform our world towards a sustainable world without a clear commitment and pathway towards low-carbon and high-resilient societies and economies. 

Having said that, we also would like to underline 2 basic reasons as to why we believe that you can conclude COP21 positively;

  • First, because there is an unprecedented scale of commitment and action at other levels of government and among all actors of society towards a climate-friendly human development; 
  • Second, because the draft, that results from the ADP negotiations some weeks ago in Bonn, contains good options for overall agreement. 

We strongly hope that, as part of an inclusive climate regime, you recognize and engage with all Non-Party stakeholders, in particular with local and subnational governments as your governmental stakeholders in the global efforts. The reference to local and subnational climate action in more than 50% of all INDCs submitted until now is another signal that motivates our work. 

However, an inclusive regime must also be equipped with the necessary ambition. Therefore, we ask you to show more ambition by adopting long term measurable goals on carbon neutrality, 100% renewables and on adaptation by 2050, and by creating a robust framework that addresses loss and damage from climate change.

We believe that an easier access to financing for the subnational governments from South will give them the opportunity to respect more rapidly the SDG adopted last September in New York. We from our side, the local and subnational governments, will gather with our networks and partners at the Cities and Regions Pavilion at COP  during the entire two weeks to showcase our transformative actions that can be implemented immediately and thus contribute to the global regime. 

On 4 December 2015, at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders at the Paris City Hall, we will convene our global convention that will recap our commitments, demonstrate our achievements and motivate our constituency to run faster in our race to the top. 

We look forward to fruitful dialogues and collaboration with all Parties, Presidencies, ADP Co-Chairs and the UNFCCC secretariat as part of our work under the Local Government Climate Roadmap that we started since 2007. We particularly welcome the support we received through the Lima-Paris Action Agenda.  

We wish to underline however that from the COP21 on the LPAA governance must include multi-level governance as announced by the President François Hollande during the World Summit Climate and Territories in Lyon, last July. The year 2016 should be used to work on this multi-actors governance implementation with a conclusion during the COP22.

We also built all this year along, in 2015, through continental summits, a dynamic of civil society and subnational and local governments in Yamoussoukro (June 2015), in Lyon (July 2015), in Toronto (July2015), in Bogota (September 2015) and soon in Paris (December 2015) and we succeeded in creating together with international organizations, States and Non-Party stakeholders this dynamic that we commit to continue and consolidate.

We believe that the agreement in Paris 2015 will recognize and support all efforts made by Non-Party stakeholders and that they will be consequently included in the Work Stream 2 decisions. We look forward to work with you and to provide you with our inputs to help give confidence to the citizens of the world that we are, that we must and that we shall continue to act for our climate and our generations to come.

 

Bernard Soulage

Vice-president in charge of Europe and International Relations
Member of the Committee of the Regions
Co-chair of the World Summit Climate and Territories

 

 


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