The Durban Adaptation Charter Attends COP20 in Peru

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From the 1st – 12th December 2014, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) convened for its 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) in Lima, Peru. This COP20 is likely to be remembered as the COP that was the precursor to COP21 in Paris, where a new global agreement detailing the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action needs to be reached. Outcomes from COP20 included elaborating on elements of this new agreement, as well as agreeing on the ground rules for submitting Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) in the first quarter of 2015.  These INDCs will form the basis of climate action post 2020 when the new agreement is set to take effect.  In addition, countries also made some headway with elevating the issue of adaptation, and reached the target of $10 billion in contributions to the Green Climate Fund.  While this progress was welcomed, there remains a worrying gap between the level of ambition displayed by the parties, and that needed to address climate change. Furthermore, despite the level of implementation being shown to address climate change at the city level, with ICLEI achieving their 500th reporting city on their newly upgraded and re-launched carbonn Climate Registry (cCR), cities remain outside of this negotiating process. It is becoming increasingly clear that cities will have a major role to play in addressing climate change, given the slow pace of the international climate negotiations, and it is crucial that they feature in the agreement to be reached in Paris.

The Durban Adaptation Charter Secretariat attended the Congress as ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability observers. Dr Sean O’Donoghue presented the Charter during ICLEI’s high level event on 7th December in the Lima City Hall. During this event, the cCR was re-launched, and among the 500 reporting cities are the first fifty cities that are reporting their adaptation efforts. The adaptation page has been added to the registry following close collaboration between the registry staff and DAC advisers. During the Lima Mayor’s breakfast, on the 8th December in the Lima City Hall, the City of Bogotá announced a new partnership between itself and the city of Durban. This partnership will be based upon the existing regional hub model with the DAC, where regional adaptation leading cities, called hubs, partner to share expertise and experience, and these knowledge outcomes get disseminated within sub-national partnerships around the adaptation hubs. Finally, Durban Speaker, Councillor Loganathan Naidoo, represented Mayor Nxumalo and the city of Durban during ICLEI’s Cities Day and the Global Environmental Facility’s side events.

Author: Dr Sean O’Donoghue

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