As we look forward to our national government reengaging in global climate action, let’s look back at how local action supported the Paris Agreement since its ratification.
In the last five years, local governments have diligently implemented integrated, science-based, and engaging action – three focuses of the Paris Agreement. Together, these three areas build communities’ ability to measure, make targets, plan, act, and monitor.
The Agreement advocated for integrated, holistic, and balanced climate approaches (mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer, and capacity building) linked to sustainable development and poverty eradication.
Local governments have continued working for the well-being of their communities. Through holistic approaches, our members are cleaning up their air, increasing efficiency, and bringing in new green job opportunities. We’re tracking 233 local governments committed to carbon neutrality, which supports equitable transition integrated with climate adaptation.
The Agreement acknowledging action should follow science and, as appropriate, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems.
ICLEI’s database of locally-inspired and science-driven actions has grown to more than 2,000 actions from hundreds of local and regional governments. These actions range from implementing electric bus charging stations to residential energy competitions to composting programs to forest carbon sequestration and urban greening.
ICLEI USA took its first-ever People’s Delegation to COP23 to demonstrate the USA public’s awareness, participation, and access to information, important steps to enhancing actions under the Agreement. As public servants, local governments know that engaging with and listening to their constituents is the path towards effective impact.
Local governments have continued sharing information, good practices, experiences in planning, policies, and implementation. They continue considering vulnerable people, places, and ecosystems. Their initiatives are increasingly gender-responsive, participatory, and transparent. They have forged forward even as COVID-19 closed opportunities for in-person meetings.
In the last five years, we’ve been inspired by the growth in the number of cities, counties, and other local entities implementing climate, resilient, equity, circular, and nature-based solutions. ICLEI USA is honored to support the work of the many local governments building thriving, sustainable communities.
With and without national action, local and regional governments have and will continue to demonstrate the impact of jobs, justice, and climate-friendly policies.
ICLEI USA Executive Director
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash