November 2018: News from C40 Adaptation Diplomacy

By Soria Hamidi, Governance and Partnerships Intern; and Alfredo Redondo, Senior Manager, Adaptation Diplomacy

This month, C40’s work on Adaptation Diplomacy was front and center on the global stage.
 
From November 6th to 8th, Mayor Herbert Bautista welcomed nine Asian megacities – Jakarta, Hanoi, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Tokyo, Yokohama, Dhaka North, Dhaka South and Quezon City –at the C40 Asian Adaptation Forum in Quezon City to discuss local implementation of adaptation and resilience initiatives. They were joined by international organisations and stakeholders dedicated to driving meaningful progress on achieving the climate adaptation and resilience aims of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They took part in a policy dialogue day and a workshop on adaptation diplomacy and urban flooding, a common climate hazard affecting these cities.

The ‘Data speaks louder than words’ report, which aggregates city data, was launched at the forum as a call for immediate action on climate change adaptation. The report, put together by ICLEI, with the support of C40, UN-Habitat, Slum Dwellers International and 100 Resilient Cities, makes the case for urgent, inclusive and ambitious action, noting that “cities and regions continue to mobilise funding from their own (often) overburdened coffers.” 

The findings from the report were later presented at Barcelona Resilience Week, (November 11-15) by C40’s Deputy Regional Director for Europe, Stelios Diakoulakis. All participants emphasised that fulfilling the goals of the Paris Agreement and SDGs will require a direct financing mechanism for Global South. The event gathered over 500 global voices to exchange knowledge on building more resilient cities and called on international financing institutions to increase the availability and accessibility of financial resources for city climate action. 
 
On November 22nd, world leaders participated in the entirely ‘Virtual Climate Summit’, organized by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). The Summit was an inclusive, zero-carbon event convened by H.E. Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands. The CVF called for more ambitious global climate ambition, emphasising that the pursuit of climate justice requires swift and unified global action to limit the 1.5°C global warming trajectory. As a show of goodwill, the Marshallese nation became the first in the world to submit a new commitment to the UN. Adaptation and resilience efforts were strongly championed by many, including Mayor Adjei Sowah of Accra who represented cities and C40 during this unique event. 

Finally, on November 28th to 29th, C40 chaired the annual meeting of the Cities Alliance’s Joint Working Programme on Resilient Cities. This unique event brought together organisations to work on resilience initiatives focused on such as the environment, slum upgrading, urban poverty reduction and more, with the goal of adopting a more comprehensive approach for stronger results. The meeting aimed to promote advocacy, action and collaboration on building resilient and inclusive cities through key initiatives and events.