Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change

The second Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change was held in Dubai during COP28 on 6 December 2023. It reflects a collective commitment to tackling climate change’s complexities within urban contexts. Co-hosted by the COP28 Presidency, UN-Habitat, and the High-Level Climate Champions, the Ministerial Meeting brought together global leaders and experts for an in-depth dialogue for the thematic day of Multilevel Action, Urbanization, Built Environment, and Transport.

The Ministerial Meeting convened around 60 Ministerial representatives, more than 200 local leaders and over 1000 attendees. Building on the success of the first-ever Ministerial Meeting held at COP27, the second Ministerial Meeting focused on the key objectives of: reinforcing the importance of multilevel climate action to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement, and exploring ways to accelerate local climate finance to facilitate a cross-sectoral and integrated approach to equip cities and local governments to respond to the climate crisis.

The meeting achieved these goals by facilitating a dialogue between Ministers of Housing, Urban Development, Environment, and Finance, as well as local and regional government representatives, global banks, and other experts in the field. The event showcased frontline countries with strong urban centers who have successfully implemented Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other policies, as well as cities and smaller towns and municipalities leading urban change. They reconnected to articulate a suite of sustainable actions for cities and urban areas to reduce emissions, adapt, and build resilience to climate impacts in a cohesive and integrated manner. This inclusive approach seeks to cultivate a collective response to the unique challenges posed by the climate crisis in urban settings.

The Ministerial Meeting, additionally, served as a platform for national governments to reaffirm commitments made to multilevel climate action, positioning this to be a central theme for the COP29 Presidency. This effort was supported by major philanthropic groups like Bloomberg Philanthropies, along with UN-Habitat and the C40 Cities Network, which together represent over 70 national governments.

The Minister of Cities from the Federative Republic of Brazil, closed the meeting with an announcement of plans to further strengthen multilevel climate action, with a new agenda at COP30.

The findings of the Ministerial Meeting were summarized in the Dubai Urbanization and Climate Change Statement – a document that reflects the high level of engagement and commitment from the participants to address climate action across every level of government, state, and city. This declaration along with concrete actions were carried forward to inform COP28 outcomes.

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