The adoption of the Paris Agreement at the COP 21 in 2015 was a historic moment by bringing together almost all countries of the world to sign a common climate agreement and take action towards commonly agreed goals in mitigating and adapting to climate change. In order to achieve those goals, the Agreement requests Parties to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions. These Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement. They constitute each country’s approach to emission reduction and climate change adaptation, and in the future countries will be required to submit updated and more ambitious NDCs every five years.
The Paris Agreement also represents a new era of global climate governance by recognising the important role of non-state and subnational stakeholders in climate action. Since climate change is a global problem actions at all levels of decision-making are required. Therefore, the delivery of the NDCs relies not only on the effective implementation planning on the national level but also on an effective coordination between the national and subnational level. A number of national governments already recognised the importance of this in their NDCs by foreseeing action on the subnational level, but better vertical alignment is needed in order to implement climate actions.
Subnational governments hold the potential to enhance NDCs activities and their implementation. They often have specific responsibilities in fields of climate action that directly influence emissions reduction and adaptation efforts, such as energy, environment, economic development, transport, waste and sanitation, industry, agriculture, land-use, or civil security, and are able to connect the reality and needs of their constituents to the national and global levels. Through their unique position between the national and local level, subnational governments are able to translate the policies and strategies agreed upon internationally and nationally and implement them through a territorial approach.
Furthermore, subnational governments can inspire national policy-makers to adopt higher ambitions. They have powerful demonstration effects, showing national governments innovative and effective solutions, illustrating that even very ambitious NDCs are plausible strategies. In addition, countries could increase their ambition levels in NDCs by supporting and aligning their targets with ongoing initiatives at the subnational level. As the translation of NDCs into concrete measure will be done primarily on a sectoral level, subnational governments can be a useful vehicle in the implementation process of the NDCs. Therefore, their involvement streamlines the process of NDC implementation and promises practical solutions that are easily implementable and effective.
This side event will provide fruitful discussions and thought dialogue on the role of alignment between national and subnational governments in effective NDC planning and implementation. In particular, panellists will share experiences and ideas for improving coordination and vertical integration of effective climate policies into NDCs. The importance of global and regional cooperation, enhancing multi-level governance in order to raise ambition on climate action, as well as transnational initiatives and organisations, such as nrg4SD and SACEP will be highlighted within the event. High-level representatives from countries and subnational governments worldwide will discuss their mitigation and adaptation approaches and challenges, as well as successful experiences of cooperation in the preparation and implementation of NDCs.
11:30 – 11:35 Opening remarks by nrg4SD/SACEP/Pakistan
11.35 – 11.42 Presentation by Dr. Asim Zia, Associate Professor, University of Vermont and Director, Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security (IEDS)
11:42 – 12:30 Panel discussion
12:30 – 12:50 Q&A with the audience
12:50 – 13:00 closing remarks by nrg4SD/SACEP/Pakistan
- E Mr. Shah Zaman Maiwandi, Director – General of the National Environmental Protection Agency of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (tbc)
- Ms Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Wales, UK;
- Mr Rodrigo Aguilar Benignos, Adviser of International Affairs of the Governor of Jalisco, Mexico
- Dr Tariq Buneri, Global Change Impact Studies Centre, Pakistan;
- Representatives from Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka (tbc)
Moderator: Natalia Vera, nrg4SD