Close this search box.

Climate Week NYC 2023: City, State & Global Diplomacy – Bridging the subnational and international in climate foreign policy

Addressing the climate crisis necessitates unprecedented global cooperation, but subnational leaders often lack strong representation in national and international climate forums. While world leaders have made progress, cities, regions, and states have become vital in achieving climate goals and filling the gaps left by national inaction. However, they face limitations in engaging internationally due to resource constraints and limited experience. These subnational actors play pivotal roles in implementing national climate policies, fostering innovation, and setting climate agendas. Integrating their voices into international climate discussions would ensure informed decision-making, maximize the benefits of national foreign policy for subnational jurisdictions, and maintain diplomatic channels regardless of national political cycles.

This event brought together representatives from New York and Bonn to share insights on engaging with national governments and infusing subnational perspectives into climate policy discussions, complemented by remarks from U.S. and German national representatives and support from ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability – in advancing international networks for this purpose.


  • Katja Dörner, Mayor of Bonn, Vice-President of the Association of German Cities and ICLEI Co-Chair on Climate Action (virtual participation)
  • Brady Hamed, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Deputy Mayor of Operations team, NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice
  • Ambassador Nina Hachigian, U.S. Special Representative for City and State Diplomacy
  • Dr. Vera Rodenhoff, Deputy Director General for International Climate Protection & International Energy Transition, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
  • Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
  • Ravi Bhalla, Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey 


  • Tobias Bernstein, Head of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge Program Office