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Source: Small Island Developing States

23 May 2019: The International Conference on Climate Action (ICCA2019) took place in the lead-up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, and focused on how vertical and horizontal cooperation can strengthen climate mitigation and adaptation actions. Deliberations showed that many solutions for increasing climate ambition already exist, but that enhanced collaboration between different government levels is needed to further strengthen their roll-out and upscaling.

Takeaways from workshop discussions shaped the Heidelberg Outcomes and the Partnership Declaration on Collaborative Climate Action, which will inform discussions at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit and the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC.

In her opening remarks, Svenja Schulze, Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, Germany, said that ICCA2019 is an important milestone ahead of the Climate Action Summit and is a forum for raising climate ambition with a view to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. She underscored that collaboration across government levels is key for effective climate action, and highlighted that the German national climate initiative (NKI) provided financial support for about 29,000 local climate projects in the country. Schulze lauded the German Fridays for Future youth movement for increasing the pressure on decision makers to become more “climate ambitious.”

A total of 23 workshops were organized during the event under the following thematic clusters: energy transitions; mobility; planning and building; resilience and adaptation; consumption and production; ambitious climate action plans; collaborative climate action; finance; governance; and good practices in Baden-Württemberg. Across all workshops, participants exchanged best practices and lessons learned about collaborative climate action, with discussions addressing, inter alia:

  • mapping of informal settlements and self-organized redesign to reduce vulnerability, notably to flooding;
  • overcoming “siloed” adaptation responses resulting from split government responsibilities;
  • subsidizing green roofs and increasing green spaces for rain run-off management;
  • enhancing the dialogue between researchers as data suppliers and local stakeholders as data users;
  • building local communities’ capacity for collecting data;
  • leveraging the opportunity of private investment in sustainability projects, both through commercial banks and bottom-up mechanisms such as crowdfunding initiatives;
  • using district heat management projects as an accessible entry way for subsequently expanding climate action;
  • developing capacity not only to replicate projects, but also to manage them sustainably; and
  • taking social considerations into account in planning climate action and raising awareness about co-benefits.

The event convened in Heidelberg, Germany, from 22-23 May 2019, and was hosted by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the State of Baden-Württemberg, and the city of Heidelberg. More than 700 participants attended the conference. [IISD RS Summary of Meeting]

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