ICLEI South Asia Engages with Urban Climate Agenda at COP27

Key Outcomes and Takeaways from COP27

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, concluded on the 20th of November 2022. More than 45,000 people attended COP27 to exchange concepts, find solutions and form partnerships. National and subnational governments, local communities, and civil society, especially the youth, demonstrated how they are addressing climate change and highlighted how it affects their lives. As per the United Nations, the key breakthrough outcomes, especially relevant for the cities and subnational authorities for the Asian region, are as follows:

  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced a USD 3.1 billion plan to ensure everyone on the planet is protected by early warning systems within the next five years.
  • The G7 and the V20 (‘the Vulnerable Twenty’) launched the Global Shield against Climate Risks, with new commitments of over USD 200 million as initial funding. Implementation is to start immediately.
  • The new Indonesia Just Energy Transition Partnership, announced at the G20 Summit held in parallel with COP27, will mobilise USD 20 billion over the next three to five years to accelerate a just energy transition.
  • Governments took the ground-breaking decision to establish new funding arrangements, as well as a dedicated fund to assist developing countries in responding to loss and damage. Governments also agreed to establish a ‘transitional committee’ to make recommendations on how to operationalise both the new funding arrangements and the fund at COP28 next year. The first meeting of the transitional committee is expected to take place before the end of March 2023.

Further, at the first-ever Ministerial Meeting on Urbanisation and Climate Change, the COP27 presidency, in collaboration with UN-Habitat and with the facilitation of ICLEI, launched the Sustainable Urban Resilience for the next Generation (SURGe) Initiative. SURGe is endorsed by 100+ organisations, along with thousands of mayors and other local and subnational leaders. The initiative will work to enhance and accelerate local and urban climate action through multi-level governance, engagement, and delivery to transform cities to be healthy, sustainable, just, inclusive, low-emission and resilient urban systems for a better urban future for all. SURGe focused on five tracks: buildings and housing, urban energy, urban waste/consumption, urban mobility, and urban water. To learn more about the SURGe initiative, click here. Leaders from national, subnational, financial, private, academic and the NGO sectors are encouraged to endorse the SURGe initiative by completing this form.

Held in the second week of COP27, ICLEI South Asia’s events focused on integrated climate solutions, innovation and finance. We were able to bring together a number of subnational, national governments, policymakers, youth and experts, with the aim of accelerating ambitious and measurable climate initiatives that lead to a low emission and climate-resilient future, and for showcasing what ICLEI South Asian members and partners are doing on the front lines of urban climate action, particularly in India.

Here is a quick summary of what we were up to:

  • Participated in Global Climate Action Partnership (GCAP) Meetings
  • Organised a session ‘Fostering Sustainable Lifestyles through Climate Smart Development and Urban Partnerships – Lessons from India’ at the India Pavilion, Sharm El-Sheikh International Convention Centre on the 16th of November 2022. This session was organised by ICLEI South Asia and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). We launched the Nature-Based Solutions Compendium during this session. We represented the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and spoke of the state government’s flagship Climate Resilient and Responsive Policy Pakkee Declaration 2047
  • Organised a session with the Government of Tamil Nadu on “Pioneering Sub-National Climate Action in India-Learnings from The State of Tamil Nadu” on the 16th of November 2022. The SDC- supported CapaCITIES Project (Phase– II) has partnered with Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission, extending support and cooperation to enhance climate resilient development in Tamil Nadu. The session highlighted ground-breaking initiatives undertaken by the Government of Tamil Nadu through long-term policy support and collaborations.
  • Organised a session ‘Accelerating Implementation of Climate Resilient Development: Lessons from Cities and Subnational Governments of the Global South’ in the Multilevel Action Pavilion, Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre, as the host of CDKN Asia on the 17th of November 2022. The Climate Finance Compendium was launched during the session.
  • Attended the launch of the COP27 presidency’s Sustainable Urban Resilience for the next Generation (SURGe) – aimed at accelerating local and urban climate action by promoting multilevel climate governance, multi-stakeholder engagement and delivery through five Tracks: Buildings and Housing, Urban Energy, Urban Waste and Consumption, Urban Mobility and Urban Water. The session was supported by the Korean Ministry of Environment.
  • Presented in a session titled ‘Net-zero Cities by and for the Citizens’ on the 15th of November 2022 in the Korea Pavilion. The session was organised by ICLEI Korea, Goyang Special city, National Association of Mayors in Korea, Green Environment Youth Korea, and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) Korea Secretariat.
  • Presented in a session titled ‘Role of Local Governments in Carbon Neutrality and Climate Crisis Response’ on the 17th of November 2022 in the Korea Pavilion. The session was organised by Incheon Metropolitan City, the Incheon Institute, GCoM Korea Secretariat, ICLEI Korea with support from the Korean Ministry of Environment, and the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea.
  • Presented in a high-level panel session about the experiences and lessons from the Zero Carbon Buildings work in Nagpur, India, organised by the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance on Net Zero Carbon Buildings in cities on the 17th of November.
  • Participated in the launch of the GCoM’s Multi-Level Climate Action Playbook Second Edition – a guide that lays out the options for national, regional and local authorities, from policy levers to institution-building, drawing on examples from national, regional and local level of both mitigation and adaptation strategies. A case study on Indian cities’ climate action efforts, developed by ICLEI South Asia, was included in the playbook.
  • Participated in the launch of the Energy Access and Poverty Pillar (EAPP) of the GCoM Common Reporting Framework (CRF) – a set of indicators, guidelines, and timelines built to help its 12,500+ signatories take action towards a just energy transition. ICLEI South Asia has provided inputs on EAPP indicators and guidelines based on local and regional contexts.
  • Participated in the announcement of the Urban Transitions Mission’s first city cohort – the first group of (48) cities that will receive support to test, pilot and scale up solutions and adopt system-wide approaches to reach net-zero. ICLEI South Asia has supported three Indian cities (i.e. Ahmedabad, Panaji and Patna) in the preparation and submission of their Expression of Interest for this call.
  • Established communication and identified technical needs and priorities of national governments and explored opportunities for collaboration with national government representatives of Bhutan, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Bangladesh in the role of the secretariat of GCAP Asia (formerly known as the Asia LEDS Partnership. The team is now exploring opportunities to fulfil selected and strategic interests of the national governments with its network of international expertise via the existing Communities of Practices.
  • Supported the representatives of the Climate Change Department of the Government of Gujarat from India to speak, observe and network during several sessions organised by ICLEI South Asia, ICLEI Korea, GCoM and other partners. Facilitated the interaction of the Climate Change Department of Gujarat with a Korean City to explore potential opportunities for collaboration.

ICLEI South Asia was proud to support the successful convening of the LGMA Multilevel Action Pavilion, the home for local and regional governments in the COP27 Blue Zone. The LGMA delegation consisted of more than 500+ representatives, including 150+ Mayors, Governors, Councillors and other local and subnational leaders who convened in 70+ sessions, showcasing that #MultilevelActionDelivers with support from over 45 organisations.

A big thank you to everyone involved – our cities, our funders and partners – for making all of this possible and for working together to share good practices on integrated climate resilient development planning and implementation.

For any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by email:

Soumya Chaturvedula, Deputy Director, ICLEI South Asia | soumya.chaturvedula@iclei.org 

Keshav Jha, Manager (Research & Advocacy) | keshav.jha@iclei.org

For all media enquiries, please contact Kaushani Banerjee, Communications Manager, kaushani.banerjee@iclei.org


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