Experts from the urban and the climate communities discussed action plans to reach more sustainable cities in an initiative workshop for COP27

The workshop, called the Sustainable Cities Initiative Workshop, was attended by parties, UN agencies, MDBs, civil society organizations, the climate champions network, think tanks and researchers, as well as city leaders and networks.

As the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties, COP27 is to take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022 – actors have begun collaborating for better, more environmentally aware urban designs.

Some of the most important actors and organisations involved in this workshop included the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and facilitated by ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability).

Participants contributed to the framework of the initiative, highlighting the need to bridge global policy to city actions and supporting cities and governments in building their capacity to improve climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

What were the actions drafted during the workshop?

  1. Creating a partnership for a sustainable cities initiative to be launched during COP27
  2. Identified initial workstreams for the initiative including, energy efficiency, resilient and low carbon buildings, waste, urban mobility and urban water management
  3. Setting guidelines for the interaction of the private sector, and other stakeholders with the initiative.Ms. Brand, ICLEI Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI Africa Secretariat, commented: “It is now more clear than ever, that multilevel collaboration is the only way that we can hope to respond in this age of our climate emergency.

“We need to ensure that multilevel action is now the new normal for the next phase of the Paris Agreement. We need to seize urban opportunities for bold action in cities and regions.”

Who attended the Sustainable Cities Initiative Workshop?

The workshop included a fruitful discussion among various partners and experts, city leaders and networks, including Ambassador Ayman Tharwat Amin, Deputy Director of the Department of Climate, Environment and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt, Erfan Ali, UN-Habitat Regional Representative for the Arab states, and Kobie Brand, Deputy Secretary General and Regional Director for Africa, ICLEI.

cop27 leaders discuss the climate and urban design
Credit: COP27

Ambassador Ayman Tharwat Amin highlighted in his opening remarks the inclusive approach that the COP27 is adopting in developing initiatives building up to the conference in Egypt this Autumn.

He emphasised that cities and their populations and infrastructure are especially vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change – accentuating the importance of this initiative and the need for an implementation-focused COP.

Erfan Ali, UN-Habitat Regional Representative for the Arab states, stated: “This year, local climate action is one of UN-Habitat’s priority themes. COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh will be a great opportunity to highlight and advance the local climate action agenda and strengthen the alignment of climate action with sustainable urban development.”


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