Collaborative Climate Action

The importance of collaboration across all levels of government and what it means for cities

Cities are responsible for 75% of global CO2 emissions and 80% of global final energy consumption. At the same time, more than half of the world’s population already lives in cities. Urban areas are centres for innovation and economic activity – they generate over 80% of the global gross national product (GDP). These figures alone show that cities and municipalities are main stakeholders in global climate protection.

However, cities also face massive challenges. The report of the Coalition for Urban Transitions, co-financed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and published in the run-up to the UN Climate Summit, “Climate Emergency – Urban Opportunity: How national governments can secure economic prosperity and avert climate catastrophe by transforming cities” outlines a positive vision of climate-friendly, compact, networked and clean cities and at the same time shows that cities alone – if at all – can only realise around one third of the urban mitigation potential. A further third can only be tapped into through appropriate support from national and regional governments, i.e. through appropriate framework conditions and support programmes for climate mitigation and climate adaptation at the local level. And the last third of the mitigation potential in cities can only be exploited through effective interaction between all levels of government.

© GIZ/Florian Kopp

The Partnership for Collaborative Climate Action

Acknowledging the urgent need to promote multi-level governance and to create enabling frameworks for cities, the International Conference on Climate Action (ICCA2019) held by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in Heidelberg in May 2019 put the focus on climate action of cities and cooperation across government levels.

A significant result of ICCA2019 is the Partnership Declaration on Collaborative Climate Action, through which states, regions, cities, networks and institutions commit themselves to more cooperation in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, define action-guiding principles and priority measures and establish a partnership for future mutual support.

With its official website, this Partnership for Collaborative Climate Action provides an excellent platform to advocate for better cooperation across government levels. To further advance ambitious climate action, the website contributes to a growing network of global, national, regional, and local stakeholders by sharing knowledge, highlighting best practices and exchanging experiences and ideas. It also informs about high-level advocacy events at international conferences as well as the latest webinars on practical implementation. And last but not least, the website provides the excellent opportunity to join the Partnership for Collaborative Climate Action and to subscribe to the Partnership’s mailing list!