Multi-level governance sounds rather boring: something only policy wonks are likely to find exciting. But as we rapidly approach the third decade of the 21st Century, one in which scientists warn the climatic “point of no return” is likely to be reached, the way in which we work together may be the most important factor determining the future of life on this planet.
The Paris Agreement, ratified in 2016, was a momentous occasion in our transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Implementing it will require an intense focus on governance: who has the power and resources to do what, by which means, and to what end?
UN-Habitat is collaborating with GIZ and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability to bring these two vital global issues together. We are exploring the enabling conditions, models and successful examples of multi-level governance that can put countries on track to becoming low-carbon, climate resilient, and prosperous future places. Our joint submission to the Talanoa Dialogue process, released in April 2018, was the topic of the first article of this series.
The submission argues that “urban settlements contain high and increasing concentrations of people, infrastructure and capital at risk from climate change, and many high-emitting sectors can be found in urban areas” (GIZ, ICLEI, UN-Habitat, 2018). Responding to this reality, as well as respecting the principle of subsidiarity, suggests that a focus on urban areas, involving all relevant tiers of government, will be vital to the successful implementation of NDCs.