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16 May 2016

COP21 guide for local governments now available!

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The Paris Climate Package, including the Paris Agreement and its related decisions on implementation, opens a new era of universal, ambitious and inclusive action to tackle climate change and cope with its effects. Through the Paris Agreement, national governments commit to advance on all aspects of climate change and will strive to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius (°C), with the intent to pursue a 1.5-degree target, supported by efforts toward climate neutrality by the middle of the 21st century.
Local and subnational governments – and their communities – are inextricably linked to the causes and effects of climate change and are thus vital to the global response. At COP21 in Paris, local leaders demonstrated they are ready and willing to act, sending a clear message that climate action is not solely a task for nations. The Paris Climate Package reflects this position by recognizing and committing to engage local and subnational governments in fast tracking transformative climate action. This paves the way for local leaders to raise global ambitions, accelerate action and leverage resources unlocked through the new climate regime. Using the Paris Climate Package as a guide, local leaders can shape and sustain the global transition toward low carbon and resilient development, slashing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing local resilience, adaptive capacity and climate impact emergency preparedness.
It is essential that all actors now use the Paris Climate Package as a compass for future action, yet its implications require further unpacking to understand what it means at the local and subnational levels. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) has developed this guide for local and subnational
governments to address four key questions:

1. The road towards COP21: What processes led to the recognition and engagement of local and subnational governments in the Paris Climate Package?

2. Local and subnational governments at COP21 in Paris: How did local leaders engage in Paris?

3. Key outcomes of the 2015 Paris Climate Package: What does the Paris Climate Package mean for local and subnational governments?

4. Accompanying the implementation of the Paris Climate Package through integrated local transformation: What steps should local and subnational governments take to support implementation of the Paris Climate Package?

The document is available for download here.

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