CoM SSA Mayors spearhead sub-Saharan Africa's local climate action agenda at COP28

Published: 17 Jan 2024
Climate Finance Events General
CoM SSA Mayors spearhead sub-Saharan Africa's local climate action agenda at COP28

Amid the scorching temperatures marking 2023 as the hottest year on record, the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) showcased unwavering determination and vigour at COP28 in Dubai. The landmark event, which spanned from November 29 to December 14, culminated in the UAE Consensus, which includes: a call to transition away from fossil fuels, a framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation as well as unprecedented references to multilevel action. Despite these strides, the Consensus fell short of closing the climate ambition and implementation gaps, underscoring the critical role of subnational governments in charting a sustainable course for the future.

COP28 witnessed the convergence of 197 countries, the European Union, and more than 85 000 participants. In this dynamic setting, CoM SSA made two compelling calls to action:
  1. finance to flow directly to the local level
  2. the mandatory inclusion of subnational governments in the revision of Nationally Determined Contributions in 2025

CoM SSA Mayors represented the region at critical junctures in the COP28 proceedings

In the unfolding narrative of COP28, CoM SSA Mayors emerged as pivotal roleplayers, taking up leadership roles at crucial junctures. Their impactful contributions were particularly evident during the inaugural Local Climate Action Summit (LCAS), a historic event that witnessed the launch of the Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (CHAMP). LCAS, hosted by the COP28 Presidency and Bloomberg Philanthropies, marked a significant step forward in the decades-long advocacy work – led by the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency – to ensure that subnational governments take their rightful place as central players in global climate change decisions and processes. CHAMP is a pledge endorsed by 70+ national governments to enhance consultation and collaboration with local and regional leaders in the planning, financing, implementation, and monitoring of future Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other climate plans and strategies.
Mayors from across the world that hosted local stocktakes standing alongside the LGMA and YOUNGO teams
The completion of the first  Global Stocktake (GST), a five-year inventory which serves as the world’s collective progress report towards the long-term goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. The LGMA Constituency to the UNFCCC, with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability at the forefront, led the charge to include local inputs into the Global Stocktake.
CoM SSA signatories, including prominent cities like Lusaka and Walvis Bay, played a decisive role by conducting local stocktakes and contributing vital data to the GST. However, the technical report on the GST delivered a sobering message:  “global emissions to date are not in line with modelled global mitigation pathways consistent with the global temperature goal of the Paris Agreement, nor are they aligned with longer-term emission reduction goals”.
A crucial aspect addressed during COP28 was the Global Goal on Adaptation, an essential component of the Paris Agreement. Particularly critical for Africa, where over 70% of cities are highly vulnerable to climate shock, the UAE Consensus text for the Global Goal on Adaptation acknowledged the significance of the local level. Yet, it fell short of the expectations of developing nations, as explained in the LGMA Statement on the Outcomes of COP28. Read in full here.
While finance remains a linchpin for accelerating climate action, COP28 shed light on the fact that major financial decisions are not made within the conference halls. As outlined by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), financial pathways transcend the COP setting, demanding a broader, systemic approach. Read more here.
Despite falling short on some fronts, COP28 marked an unprecedented inclusion of subnational governments, representing a pivotal shift in the right direction. The camaraderie, collaborative spirit, and passion exhibited at COP28 should serve as a powerful catalyst, inspiring collective action across sectors and governments. As we reflect on these outcomes, the call to join hands and spring into action resonates louder than ever, urging us all to contribute our part in safeguarding the future of our planet.
CoM SSA is co-funded by the European Union (EU), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

Sign up to our newsletter

By filling in this form you are agreeing to the ICLEI Africa Privacy Policy

Please enter your name Please enter a valid name
Please enter your surname Please enter a valid surname
Please enter your city Please enter a valid city
Please enter your country Please enter a valid country
Please enter your email Please enter a valid email address