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COP22: governments must uphold and go beyond Paris climate promises
As climate talks continue in Marrakech, thousands of local and regional leaders from across the world have called on governments at all levels to uphold and go beyond the commitments made in Paris last year. They also expect the COP22 to result in concrete policy, technical and financial measures to make the Paris deal operational. ‘We need to build on the Paris Agreement which was historic but is not enough. Local and regional governments are taking action and are ready to help but they need sustainable smart investment and a stronger role in the global governance on climate action”, Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions said.
 
The President of the European Committee of the Regions – the EU’s assembly of local and regional representatives - was speaking during the COP22 Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders which gathered over 1,500 local and regional leaders from across the globe. During his speech, President Markkula said that though the Paris climate agreement set a 2°C warming limit, current commitments will see global temperatures increase by more than 3°C by the turn of the century. "Climate change is a matter that goes beyond politics, across borders and is not something you can bargain with. All nations must uphold their climate commitments, take the necessary steps to ensure the sustainable transition of territories worldwide and go further, faster. We must aim to have a carbon-neutral world by 2050", added President Markkula.
 
Local and regional authorities have a central role in delivering climate action, being responsible for executing around 70% of climate change reduction measures and up to 90% of climate adaptation actions. Climate initiatives such as the Global Covenant of Mayors will soon be the largest coalition of cities and regions, demonstrate that local governments surpass national government targets. This is critical in reaching the Paris objectives.
 
"Cities and regions are key in bridging the gap between climate commitments and objectives", said Francesco Pigliaru, President of Sardinia who led the Committee’s report 'Delivering the global climate agreement – a territorial approach to COP22 in Marrakech '. "We expect the climate talks to result in a global climate governance that formalises a permanent dialogue between cities and regions, national governments and UN bodies. It needs to show how binding targets will be monitored while closely tracking progress through common assessment mechanisms. We urgently need to integrate cities and regions’ cuts in greenhouse gas emissions within National Determined Contributions (NDCs)", concluded Pigliaru.
 
Half of the world’s population live in urban areas with cities emitting as much as half of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. According to the World Bank, adapting to climate change could cost $80 to $100 billion per year, 80% of which needs to be invested in cities in order to keep global warming under 2°C. Yet today’s financing landscape does not provide local and regional authorities with suitable financial opportunities and the right technical support to develop climate projects. During the Summit, cities and regions set out recommendations to mobilise financial flows for locally-tailored climate projects: from increasing the volume of climate-compatible assets to further channelling direct-access to finance through public-private partnerships, creating financial hubs and supporting carbon pricing to boost low-carbon projects.
 
Notes to editor:
 
The COP22 Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders was co-organised by more than twenty five international organisations, representing altogether more than 5 billion people, 70% of global population. The Summit has adopted the “Road Map for Action of Marrakech” that proposes climate negotiators with a set of recommendations to boost climate action and finance local leaders worldwide.
 
The European Committee of the Regions is also actively contributing to the special report on cities and regions that the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) is to deliver in 2023 as well as to closely cooperate with national states and the UNFCCC on the design of a decisive ‘Action Plan for Cities and Regions’.
 
The Committee has also welcomed the IPCC decision to organise a ‘Cities and Climate Change Science Conference’ in 2018. At COP22, the IPCC has launched a call to host the conference to ‘all cities recognised for their climate leadership’ by January 15, 2017, The aim is to foster research and scientific evidence on cities and climate change in order to enable better climate policy-making at local level. It is to support national governments, member states, regions and cities to deliver the Paris Agreement, the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
 
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Pictures of the eventictures of the event here
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