Strong Cities for Climate Action - Evaluating Multi-Level Climate Governance

In December 2015, the Paris Agreement was adopted within the context of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The ambitious aims of this agreement include a commitment to keep global warming well below 2 degrees, with a view to limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. These goals can only be implemented with effective collaboration between governments at different levels, and between state and non-state actors. The need for better collaboration and coordination across different governance levels and actor groups has been emphasised not only in the Paris Agreement, but also in other international agreements and agendas, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.

In this context, the role of cities in implementing effective climate action is also increasingly being acknowledged. Many of the key challenges and opportunities in addressing climate change are concentrated in cities. For example, approximately 70 per cent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are produced in cities. Due to the concentration of people, economic activity, services and infrastructure, it is also often cheaper to take effective climate action in cities.

For these reasons, the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) is interested in the ways in which climate action by local governments can be supported and enhanced. In its consideration of these issues, the BMUB is supported by a Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) project called “Climate Policy meets Urban Development” (CPMUD). In this project, adelphi is supporting the BMUB and CPMUD and their partners in their deliberations on this topic by producing a comprehensive qualitative assessment of mechanisms and instruments for multi- level climate governance. Preliminary results from this assessment will also be discussed at a side event at COP23 in Bonn.

Publications of this project