DUBAI (December 1, 2023) — Today, more than 200 mayors, governors and other subnational leaders gathered to kick off the first-ever “Local Climate Action Summit,” hosted by the COP28 Presidency and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and focused on elevating the role of cities in climate planning.

At the Summit, the UAE COP28 Presidency announced the launch of the Coalition for High Ambition Multi-level Partnerships (CHAMP) initiative, endorsed by 63 countries that have committed to enhanced cooperation between national, regional and local governments on planning, financing and implementing national climate goals. 

CHAMP was developed in consultation with subnational leaders and stakeholders, including America Is All In, Bloomberg Philanthropies, C40 Cities, CDP, European Climate Foundation, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, ICLEI -Local Governments for Sustainability, NDC Partnership, UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, Under2 Coalition, UN-Habitat, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and others. 

Following is a statement from Rogier van den Berg, Global Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities:

“This historic gathering is the largest assembly of mayors, governors and other local leaders at the UN climate talks since the Paris Agreement was struck and marks a critical opportunity to forge new partnerships between countries and cities to tackle the climate crisis. 

“Cities and subnational actors have long been left on the sidelines at UN climate summits, even though cities account for 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is a huge sign of progress that it’s changing at this summit. 

“The CHAMP initiative puts cities at the center of countries’ next national climate plans, due by 2025, and will encourage national governments to actively work on climate action planning with cities. This is a big deal given that less than one-quarter of countries’ current climate plans adequately prioritize cities. 

“The Global Stocktake showed just how far we are from meeting the Paris Agreement climate goals. Only when national, regional and local governments actively work together can countries make faster progress on slashing emissions. Accelerating climate action in cities is not only vital to cutting emissions, but also to improving the lives of urban residents, too many of whom suffer from air pollution and inadequate access to services.”