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Are Cities a Relevant Scale of Action to Tackle Climate Change?

Magali Dreyfus


Some Reflections to Inform the Debate on the Post-2020 Regime

Currently the international climate regime does not acknowledge the role of cities in tackling climate change. Yet their case is relevant for several reasons. They are vulnerable settlements and important emitters at the same time. Also the resources they concentrate allow them to take action and find innovative solutions. Although international law does not consider local governments, there are, at the city level, opportunities to seize in order to help national governments meeting their mitigation targets and adaptation objectives. In fact, thanks to important advocacy activities, city governments have slowly gained some recognition and the context now seems favorable to formally involve them in the climate regime. The 2020 regime would therefore benefit from a clear mention of how local governments can be involved in the whole UNFCCC process so that common mechanisms, which ease implementation at the local level, are set up. To do so, it is important to make sure that local governments are participants in the definition of the regime.


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