With the increased demand for energy and other services in urban areas driven by rapid population growth, human activities are a growing proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate challenge. We need global action that will substantially contribute to the Paris Agreement climate targets, to stay well below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The Urban-LEDS II project helps local governments to implement integrated low emission and resilient development by offering guidance, tools, and technical assistance; mobilizing cities to commit to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM); exploring access to financing; and supporting multilevel governance. The project will also support the improvement of effective monitoring and reporting systems through an integrated MRV (Measuring, Reporting, and Verifying) process, vital to tracking progress and accelerating climate action within cities.

Local governments’ planning and implementation of climate action will not only lead to regional benefits, but will also support national climate action plans that effectively contribute to global climate change mitigation and adaptation, and also provide access to secure, affordable, and sustainable energy.

“Every city in the world, regardless of location, size or income, has a strong incentive to become low-carbon and climate change resilient. By adopting and integrating Low Emission Development Strategies, aided by effective urban planning, we can chart a pathway to achieving the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. UN-Habitat is excited by its partnership with ICLEI through the EC-funded Urban-LEDS II project, which will explore the possibility for towns and cities to become healthy, inclusive and competitive, while curbing their greenhouse gas emissions.”

Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN-Habitat

“Climate change continues to move faster than our efforts to address it. Cities are growing rapidly. More than half the world’s population is now urban, and that proportion is increasing. Today, cities are at the forefront of climate action. I urge you to set ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Join communities of local leaders, share your experiences and commit to change. Together let us bend the emissions curve downwards for a sustainable future for all.”

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General during the ICLEI World Congress