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Cities hold the key to Doha Climate Gateway, ICLEI concludes after UN Climate Conference

December 12, 2012

The UN Climate Change Summit ended in Doha on 8 December 2012 after negotiators agreed to the Doha Climate Gateway - a deal that extends the Kyoto Protocol for eight more years, introduces new principles on compensation of loss and damage, and opens the path to a broader global climate action by drafting a new universal climate agreement by 2015.

ICLEI welcomes the Doha outcomes as modest steps towards ensuring the integrity of global, rule-based system for climate change, but is concerned that the pace of intergovernmental process is far below the level to respond effectively to urgent climate crisis. It also fails to fully reflect the dynamism towards developing a new low-emission, low-carbon, climate-resilient, resource-efficient urban environment.

The outcomes’ lack of reference to local climate action - despite the very strong statements delivered by countries including USA, EU, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia at numerous sessions before and during the Conference - is particularly disappointing.

“We are observing a clear and growing intention among both developed and developing countries to work closely with local and subnational governments on raising level of ambition” said Gino van Begin, ICLEI Secretary General. “The climate community is much more eager to tap on the potential of local climate action. Such partnerships are the key to ensure tangible success in global climate action, while intergovernmental negotiations advance.”

Acting as the  focal point of local governments and municipal authorities to the UN Climate Change process since 1995, ICLEI facilitated advocacy efforts and supported the World Climate Summit and Sustainable Innovation Forum as an institutional partner in Doha.

A side event was held on 6 December, where ICLEI presented the 2012 updates on local governments’ implementation of global climate initiatives such as the Mexico City Pact and Durban Adaptation Charter.

Reta Jo Lewis, Special Representative of US Department of State, Evelyn Huytebroeck, Minister of Environment of Brussels Capital Region, Rodolfo Godínez, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mexico, Jens Fugl of European Commission and Robert Kehew of UN-Habitat addressed the ICLEI side event, where city representatives from Tokyo, Belo Horizonte, Buenos Aires, Thane, Kaohsiung and Mexico presented their achievements in climate change mitigation and adaptation over the past year.

A new report from carbonn Cities Climate Registry – the world’s largest global database on local climate action – was also released on the same date, revealing 2,092 local climate change mitigation and adaptation actions, 561 GHG inventories amounting to annual community GHG emissions of 1.5 Gigatonnes CO2e by 232 cities from 25 countries worldwide.

To consolidate local efforts and to come up with a strengthened and action-oriented global advocacy and network, ICLEI will meet with mayors, councilors and governors from around the world in Nantes in September 2013 - as a preparation to the Warsaw Climate Conference in 2013 and World´s Leaders Climate Summit in 2014 to be convened by UN Secretary General.

Two webinars "What does Doha Climate Gateway mean for local governments? - An evaluation of outcomes of 2012 UN Doha Climate Conference with participating ICLEI delegation, ICLEI member cities and global partners" will be held at 9.00 and 17.00 (CET) on 25 February, 2013. 

Read ICLEI’s evaluation of Doha outcomes

Hear what global leaders said at COP18

Find out more about Local Government Climate Roadmap and carbonn Cities Climate Registry

Read the call for a global coalition of the willing by Mayor Park of Seoul and Chair of World Mayors Council on Climate Change 

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