At a glance

UN-Habitat and ICLEI are supporting more than 60 local governments worldwide tackling climate change by accelerating urban low emission development and climate change resilience for their communities, through a multilevel governance approach to integrated urban climate action.

During 2012 – 2015 under the Urban-LEDS I project, ICLEI and UN-Habitat supported eight model cities in Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa to develop comprehensive Urban Low Emission Development Strategies and action plans using ICLEI’s GreenClimateCities (GCC) process methodology. In 2017, a second phase of the project was launched (Urban-LEDS II). This new phase includes the addition of 23 model and satellite cities, and activities expanding into Colombia, Bangladesh, Lao PDR, and Rwanda.

While the core objective remains to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the development of eight brand new city-level Urban Low Emission Development Strategies, a strengthened focus on adaptation and climate resilience will ensure a comprehensive climate and development approach.

Continuities and innovations in Urban-LEDS II support to project cities will include:

  • The development and approval of Urban LEDS and integrated climate action plans in the model cities in Colombia, Bangladesh, Lao PDR and Rwanda which deliver emissions reductions and adaptation co-benefits.
  • The development of a network of learning cities in the eight project countries, engaged through staff training, peer-to-peer exchange and other capacity development opportunities.
  • Support to the model cities in Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa to consolidate their achievements and develop prioritized pilot projects and finance models for LEDS implementation.
  • The implementation of policies, programs and projects locally.
  • The reporting of cities’ targets and achievements in the carbonn Climate Registry (cCR), to get visibility and contribute to global climate advocacy.
  • The achievement of enhanced vertical and national integration of climate action in support of national and local strategies and policies under framework of the Paris Agreement.
  • The creation of a National Project Advisory Group (PAG) in each Urban-LEDS country to support the effective implementation of the project. Its role is to bring together relevant stakeholders as an expert group that provides practical and strategic advice to the Country Project team, for the effective implementation of the Urban-LEDS project. Further, the intention is also to explore and optimize synergies with existing other initiatives, and to identify additional opportunities that through partnership can accelerate the urban low-emission growth paradigm.
  • The promotion of international, regional and national state and city cooperation on urban climate action, to accelerate action and increase ambition, also promoting the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy as a key global initiative for local governments around the globe.

Project Countries:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Rwanda and South Africa

Project Objectives:

  1. Support Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) implementation, following the 3 GCoM pillars: climate change mitigation and adaptation, and access to secure, affordable and sustainable energy.
  2. Enhance vertical and horizontal integration of climate action in support of National and local strategies and policies.
  3. Consolidate Urban Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) achievements in cities in Phase 1 countries (Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa).
  4. Support and guide selected local governments in developing and approving Urban LEDS in four new countries (Lao PDR, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Colombia), resulting in measurable GHG emission reductions, adaptation co-benefits and access to secure, affordable and sustainable energy.
  5. Promote multi-level government cooperation on integrated urban climate action, leading to an increase in urban stakeholders’ capacity to implement climate action.

Target Group: Local governments, subnational governments, national governments, civil society organisations, research & academic organisations.
Final Beneficiaries: Local decision-makers and local government practitioners, National government officials, Citizens of the project cities engaging in climate action.
Duration: 48 Months (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021)
Total Budget: EUR 8,000,000.00
Funder: European Commission (DG DEVCO)
Global project coordination: UN-Habitat
Project implementation: ICLEI World Secretariat, ICLEI Africa Secretariat, ICLEI European Secretariat, ICLEI South Asia Secretariat, ICLEI South America Secretariat, ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat