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How Your Local Government Can Support the Paris Agreement

International climate agreements are forged by national governments, with far-reaching implications for sub-national governments, businesses, institutions, and individuals. The webinar above focuses on how state and local governments can stay engaged in international climate action and the mechanisms for doing so. Panelists: Angie Fyfe, Executive Director, ICLEI USA; Reed Schuler Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State; Susan Biniaz, Senior Fellow for Climate at the UN Foundation, and on the adjunct faculty at Columbia and Yale Law Schools

The national government of the United States has walked away from international climate action by announcing its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement — ICLEI and its network has not.

ICLEI is the only local government network that is accredited as observer at the three Rio Conventions, namely UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) under which the Paris Agreement was adopted; the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD); and the UN Convention on Desertification (UNCCD).

ICLEI actively participates in the negotiation and implementation of international climate issues under these Conventions, representing the local and regional perspective.

The Paris Agreement is the continued formal recognition of the key role of local and sub-national governments in tackling climate change following the COP16 held in Cancun in 2010, where this was first achieved. The Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency at the UNFCCC, led by ICLEI as constituency focal point, have been instrumental in this achievement.

U.S. local governments will continue to work with and for their citizens to curb GHG emissions and build healthy, resilient communities through global initiatives such as the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and platforms such as the carbonn Climate Registry.

Our job, as a leading local government network, will be to support cities and regions all over the country to keep the momentum towards a low-carbon and resilient urban future for the U.S. and the world. Join us!


Declare that “We Are Still In” Mayors, council members, county supervisors, and other elected officials can join more than 1,300 others and sign your name to the Open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris Agreement from U.S. state, local, university, and business leaders to declare that your community supports the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Join the ICLEI delegation to COP23 While the U.S. national delegation withdrawals its voice from the international climate dialogue, ICLEI will continue to represent local governments in the process. Local elected officials interested in joining ICLEI’s COP23 delegation in Bonn Germany this November may express interest in credentials by emailing Executive Director Angie Fyfe at  Organized by ICLEI, and co-hosted by the City of Bonn and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia at COP23, the Cities and Regional Pavilion is open November 9-14, with the Leaders´ Summit will take place on November 12.

Participate in the ICLEI World Congress ICLEI’s next triennial global meeting of local governments, climate experts, academics, and UN officials will take place in Montreal in June 2018. Contact us to propose a panel or express an interest as a presenter.

Be the voice of local government action on the global stage through your ICLEI membership. Your membership and dues support global climate action at the local level. ICLEI acts as Focal Point of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency to coordinate the local government observers at UNFCCC intergovernmental climate negotiations in order to ensure local government voices are heard at the UNFCCC Secretariat. Read our Annual Report for examples of how we work directly with cities, and make sure you receive our newsletter so you don’t miss out on new program offerings, webinars, grant opportunities, and more.


Pass a Council Resolution or Executive Order. ICLEI local governments are already making official declarations in support of Paris. Support might take an official form, such as embedded in legislation or an executive order, or it might be more informal, such as in a policy statement by a mayor or governor. The content of the support might relate to the Agreement generally or, for example, to the Agreement’s objective of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 Degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Read the resolution passed in Oberlin, OH.

Declare a commitment to 100% Renewable Energy. In order to meet the temperature increase targets of the Paris Agreement, we must peak global carbon emissions by 2030 and transition to a fossil fuel free electric power sector by mid century. ICLEI supports this transition through its 100% RE Cities and Regions Network, a free platform to highlight the leadership and best practices of communities powered by or aspiring to be powered by 100% renewable energy. The network’s repository of collective technical expertise provides a forum for solutions-oriented dialogue. This inclusive and interactive resource center provides access energy efficiency experts, tools, and latest findings and reports.


Create a GHG Inventory and Climate Action Plan. For two decades, ICLEI USA has supported hundreds of U.S. cities, towns and counties to develop greenhouse gas inventories as a way to measure and quantify emissions. We help cities create reduction strategies that inform climate action plans that reduce emissions and have played a lead role in the development of protocols and tools to advance this work, including ClearPath, the leading emissions-management software platform used by hundreds of U.S. cities to track GHG emissions and plan for reductions.

Report your Actions to a Global Platform. As the world’s leading reporting platform for local climate action, the ICLEI-managed carbonn Climate Registry has linked up to the UNFCCC’s NAZCA portal. NAZCA was launched at COP 20 to catalog the NAZCA actions that companies, regions, and investors are taking to address climate change — 12,549 total commitments to date, with thousands provided via the carbonn Climate Registry.

Develop a Resilience Strategy. Communities across the U.S. already are facing challenges associated with the impacts of climate change and are developing strategies to recover from shocks. ICLEI USA’s resilience and climate adaptation work helps local governments respond to climatic challenges, in programs such as our Unite2Green youth leadership program and community vulnerability assessments. We now offer custom service packages to communities interested in diving into the adaptation planning process.


Tell us your quote, story, statistic, or other message in support of Paris. ICLEI’s network of more than 1,500 global cities, towns, and regions offers the chance for your words and actions to be considered, amplified and replicated. We also work alongside city network allies, such as WWF, National League of Cities, USDN, C40 and others, to share your successes far and wide.

Ride along with our resilience roadtrip. ICLEI USA continues to make efforts to bridge the divide, through our work on the The American Resilience Roadtrip, a year-long, 50-state tour that aims to report on what unites and builds resilience on the ground across the U.S. In the weeks ahead, we’ll be in North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut and then on to dozens more states to promote your success stories. Be in touch to arrange for us to tell your story. Follow the roadtrip on Twitter and Instagram.

Use the hashtag #ActOnClimate. We will follow your efforts on social media and work to amplify them, and send us your quotes, letter sign on, or other messages soon.


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