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Global stage for highlighting the role of cities, towns, regions and other subnationals as climate action leaders

8 November 2023 – Bonn, Germany/Nairobi, Kenya. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and UN-Habitat, the United Nations entity responsible for sustainable urbanization, have announced plans for a joint pavilion at COP28 in Dubai, UAE.

The Multilevel Action & Urbanization Pavilion will serve as the global stage for the city and subnational climate agenda at COP28. The Pavilion will bring into focus not only the challenges and needs, but also the accomplishments and commitments of local and subnational actors on climate action.

The Pavilion is co-convened by UN-Habitat and ICLEI in its role as the focal point of the Local

Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA Constituency). The Pavilion is co-hosted by the Scottish Government and Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) and C40 Cities.

Open during the entire COP28 program, 30 November - 12 December, the Pavilion provides a space for local, national and international leaders to meet and exchange. It will host in-person and hybrid events, in addition to a dedicated networking space for informal discussions.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif said: “The voices of cities, towns, and regions must be heard for they hold the key to the implementation of climate solutions. Our Multilevel Action and Urbanization Pavilion at COP28 is designed to do just that. It is a platform where local and national actors, along with diverse partners, will come together to showcase achievements, discuss challenges, and make commitments to shape our urban future.”

ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin said: "For more than two decades, cities, towns, states and regions continue to play a pivotal role in our global climate response, as first actors to respond to climate impacts and as implementers of national climate goals. The Multilevel Action & Urbanization Pavilion at COP28 will highlight this critical contribution during the time when the world will be pushing nations for faster and more comprehensive climate solutions that include all levels of government. We invite COP28 parties, leaders of and partners of cities, towns, regions, states and other subnationals to join us at the Pavilion to hear our successes, address our challenges, and join forces to push forward a sustainable and resilient urban future. Together, through collaboration and commitment, we can achieve our shared climate goals."

Màiri McAllan, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition said: “States, regions and nations like Scotland have a big role to play in tackling the climate and nature crises. By working together again at COP28, we can help provide a platform for those that are often least heard in climate discussions, including people from the global south and young people. One of the great injustices of climate change is that the people least responsible for global warming are often the ones suffering its worst consequences. That is why the Scottish Government will continue to push for increased global action and urgent funding for loss and damage at COP28.”

“For nations to reach their climate targets, mayors and governors need to be empowered to have a bigger role on the global stage,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “For the first time ever, this year’s COP President – Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and the government of the United Arab Emirates – is integrating local leaders into the formal programming and agenda. By formally elevating city leadership in the fight against climate change, we are taking a critical step forward towards ensuring we make progress faster.”

The inclusive platform will bring together cities, towns, regions, and representatives from the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency organizations, as well as individuals and groups dedicated to supporting local and subnational actors in playing more substantial roles in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. This year’s Pavilion builds on the experience of the LGMA/ICLEI, Scotland and others in convening cities and subnational pavilions at previous COPs, in addition to benefiting from UN-Habitat's expertise in sustainable urbanization.

The Pavilion is hosted within the Blue Zone at COP28, where the urban climate agenda has a strong narrative through the two-week programming, with the COP28 Presidency holding key events including the Local Climate Action Summit on 1-2 December, a first-of-its-kind gathering to recognize the critical role local leaders play in reducing emissions, addressing climate risk, and supercharging national efforts to move further and faster on climate progress, hosted by the COP28 Presidency and Bloomberg Philanthropies. On 6 December, the Pavilion program will feature complementary programming alongside the Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change – the headlining event of the thematic day Multilevel Action, Urbanization and Built Environment/Transport on 6 December.

Those who wish to attend sessions while in Dubai or tune in virtually can register for daily updates from COP28, including exclusive coverage, live sessions, announcements and interviews: https://cop28.citiesand-regions.org/updates.

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