Day by day, population growth and development is increasing rapidly. This can have an impact on the environment, namely climate change. As we know, metropolitan cities are considered as promising for people’s income. This causes the population and development in urban areas to increase from day to day.  Then, the increase in the amount causes the material in urban areas to reflect greater heat due to greater energy consumption. So, the temperature in urban areas has increased which can cause climate change. Especially in the densely populated  urban areas of the Pacific Area region, which can cause more dangerous climate change due to high energy consumption. Therefore, there is no longer a doubt that cities are at the heart of climate action and adaptation. In order to continue to build a resilient future, a green and fair development restoration is needed. 

Did you remember the United Nations Climate Change Conference of The Parties or COP26 that was held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom last November? COP26 is a pivotal moment and platform for world leaders to discuss how they are expected to put forward the greater level of ambitions and action towards their climate promises for securing global net zero and keeping 1.5 degrees in reach.  This involves adapting to protect communities and natural habitats, and mobilising finance and bringing countries, businesses, civil society, and citizens together to deliver on the Paris Agreement. After nearly 2 weeks of negotiations, COP26 has succeeded in reaching a consensus in addressing climate action change, in which more than 190 countries have agreed to continue to strengthen themselves and support limiting global warming below 1.5 C. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to take initiatives in bridging aspects of science, innovation, policy and towards enabling cities to take accelerated and more ambitious climate action with action agenda. In fact, COP26 was also a chance for developed countries to make new financial and net-zero pledges and throughout the event, many other declarations and alliances were announced that also highlighted the crucial role of cities. 

This is because countering climate change matters just as much at the local level, where throughout the pandemic, cities and its local governments have learnt to be more resilient in times of crisis. During COP26, cities also showcased pacts and partnerships to achieve net-zero by 2030, voicing out the importance of empowering communities, discussing urban informality and many more. 

As a result,the climate action agenda should be more focused on climate justice, innovative solutions and approaches to climate action, green strategies, climate resilience, and climate action’s overall connection with post-pandemic recovery. It is not only further to increase awareness and capacity of cities and local governments in implementing their climate actions plans, but it is also a need to foster collaboration and partnerships.

“But, how can we make it all happen? What does this mean for Asia-Pacific?”

As the largest section of cities and local governments association, United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) is an ardent advocate for climate resilience by pushing climate commitments and action locally through its flagship programs such as Climate Resilient and Inclusive Cities (CRIC), UCLG ASPAC promotes climates leadership to respond climate change.

Intaking the momentum of COP26 to follow up its result, under the framework of ASEAN Mayors Forum, the UCLG ASPAC  as the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) Secretariat for Southeast Asia and Lead Coordinator for the GCoM Global Regional Coherence, is initiating a forum dialogue that is called ASEAN City Leaders Dialogue on Monday, 17th January 2022. In addition, this dialogue will also be held in conjunction with the GCoM National Webinars in Southeast Asian countries, which will be a prior session to the Dialogue. 

As the GCoM Southeast Asia Secretariat, UCLG ASPAC under the financial support of the EU is continuing the GCoM implementation in Asia with GCoM Phase 2 (more formally called the International Urban Cooperation/IUC project), with five (5) Indonesian cities selected as pilot cities of the project, they are Denpasar, Depok, Makassar, Malang and Palembang. During the webinars, there will be knowledge sharing on climate mitigation actions, as well as lessons-learnt on climate actions and initiatives of Indonesian local authorities towards zero-carbon. 

Overall, the ASEAN City Leaders Dialogue is a forum aimed for city leaders to share their focus on building support for climate action and ambition to raise climate awareness and provide guidance to regional/local governments that can contribute to the climate goals. Under the theme of “Finding Breakthrough and Stepping Up Climate Commitments Post-COP26, the outcomes of this forum is expected to gain a collective understanding of action required form subnational governments post-COP26. Also, City Leaders are expected to express their commitments to continue reaching zero emission and resilience related to COVID-19 recovery by 2050 that will be followed up by building and joining the campaign coalition partners. 

The event will be hosted by the GCoM Southeast Asia Secretariat in collaboration with GCoM Global Regional Coherence Initiative. This event will invite representatives of UCLG, GCoM Global, UNFCCC and partners participating at the COP26 that will provide key results and guidance on future map implementation.

This event will be conducted by virtually and expecting to have 100 participants or more , Governors/Mayors/Regents/city’s representative, senior local governments officials and representatives of local government associations from Southeast Asia (ASEAN Mayors Forum). Other participants will include the Representatives of the Secretariat of ASEAN, GCoM Global and Regional Asia Pacific representatives and partners, Donors and National Government representatives.

by KM Team