At the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris, it was agreed that mobilizing stronger and more ambitious climate action by all Parties and non-Party stakeholders is urgently required if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be achieved.
In decision 1/CP.21, the commitments from all actors are recognized, including those launched through the Lima–Paris Action Agenda, as well as the urgent need to scale up the global response to climate change and support greater ambition from governments.
At COP 22 in Marrakech, a High-Level Event on Accelerating Climate Action was held to highlight outcomes from the Action Events throughout the conference and culminated with the launching of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action; a new framework to catalyse and support climate action.
The Showcase and Dialogue on Cities and Human Settlements is organized to inspire, structure, and showcase climate action in the field of resilience in cities and buildings. The milestone achievements in 2015 have important implications for cities and human settlements. These include for example the Sendai Framework, Paris Climate Agreement, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including SDG:11 focusing on cities and human settlements, and the Addis Ababa Agenda for Financing Development.
The prominent reference to human settlements, cities and other subnational authorities in these processes and the global commitment to pursue a low-carbon resilient pathway to limit global temperature increase to 1.50C through the Paris Agreement, makes it important for a broader understanding of key role of cities and human settlements play in contributing to this goal.
Supporting the role of sub national authorities and communities - The Buildings and Construction sector plays a crucial role in the achievement of the multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is responsible for over 20% of global GHG emissions.
Harnessing the potential of 80% of CO2 reductions in the sector by 2050 (IEA) is a critical factor in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC), an initiative launched at COP 21, gathers member States as well as all stakeholders from the Buildings and Construction sector. The GABC is focused on the achievement of the low-carbon and energy transition of the Buildings and Construction sector through fostering the development of appropriate policies for sustainable buildings and energy efficiency in buildings, and allowing a concrete value-chain transformation of the sector. The Alliance includes 80 key players that have expressed their commitments and are carrying out significant activities in these fields. A specific focus on the building and construction sector as part of the resilience in Cities and Human Settlements event aimed at supporting progress and international cooperation in this field.
As centres of population (the majority of the world’s population live in urban centres) and economic activity, cities concentrate risks while also amplifying hazards. This is especially true in relation to climate change. The urgent need for resilience-building at all levels was reaffirmed in three global frameworks: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement. Under the latter, resilience is particularly important because the aggregate effect of intended nationally determined contributions will not be sufficient for a 1.5°C pathway nor to keep global temperature increases below a 2°C increase. In this context, increasing resilience and adapting to unavoidable climate change and impacts is imperative to build resilient cities, prepared to absorb and recover from any shock or stress while maintaining their essential functions and structures. This urban resilience workstream of the Cities and Human Settlements event at COP 22 provided an update on key global initiatives designed to accelerate and scale-up local adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
After a joint showcase, the thematic day on Cities and Human Settlements was equally divided between a Buildings (13.30-16.00) and a Resilience (16.30-19.00) section.
Press Release: Cities, Towns, Regions Partner to Achieve Paris Goals