On April 11 – 13, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will meet in Nairobi to decide on its work programme for the next reporting cycle. This includes a shortlist of Special Reports to be delivered in the upcoming years; among 27 proposals is the suggestion for an IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change, submitted by the South African Government.

Following the recognition of cities and other non-party stakeholders by the Paris Agreement, this report would be a major breakthrough in terms of knowledge and leadership, and consolidate the role of cities as permanent key players in the climate agenda. That is why C40, ICLEI, UCLG and many other city champions are appealing to cities and citizens to lobby their national government to vote for Cities and Climate Change during the IPCC 43rd Session next month.

Cities are already facing the impacts of climate change, and are highly vulnerable to a range of climate hazards, including sea level rise, street flooding, droughts and severe heat waves, which threaten the heath, well-being and livelihood of citizens. 

Cities are also integral to fighting climate change – they are responsible for 75% of global carbon emissions and research shows that urban policy decisions made by 2020 could determine up to a third of the remaining global carbon budget that is not already ‘locked-in’ by past decisions.

Now is the moment for an IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change
Previously, the IPCC has dedicated a chapter of their Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability to Urban Areas. The proposal for an entire Special Report devoted to cities represents an enormous opportunity for their role in the global response to climate change to be recognized.

An IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change would act as the most comprehensive global resource on this topic, gathering in a single document all the long-term scientific evidence and disperse research on climate impacts, challenges and solutions to climate action in cities.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the report would be a huge opportunity to strengthen the momentum created during the Paris climate negotiations.

“Cities generate a staggering 75 to 80 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, which means we need a serious effort in our cities to slow global warming,” the Lord Mayor said. “By showing leadership in our cities and working together, we can make a real difference. We urge the IPCC to recognise the role of cities in the global response to climate change. This would lead to a comprehensive global resource on cities and climate change examining scientific evidence and looking at solutions for climate action.”

How to support the campaign
You can submit a request to your national government, calling for an IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change, through a phone call or email to your country’s IPCC National Focal Point. In addition, C40 and partners have launched a social media campaign urging urban citizens to appeal to their national governments to vote for this report.

To find out more about the campaign, follow @C40cities on twitter, and check out #CitiesIPCC.  

About the IPCC
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change.  It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts. In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC.

The IPCC reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socioeconomic information produced worldwide relevant to the understandin­g of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. 

Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC.  Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. The IPCC aims to reflect a range of views and expertise. Because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature, the IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers. By endorsing the IPCC reports, governments acknowledge the authority of their scientific content. The work of the organization is therefore policy ‐ relevant and yet policy – neutral, never policy – prescriptive.

For more info please visit: www.ipcc.ch

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