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World Summit Climate & Territories General Declaration

Written By NAFSO on Monday, July 06, 2015 | 4:29:00 PM

Placing territorial action at the heart of the response to climate challenge

Lyon, Rhône-Alpes Region, 2nd July 2015



Fighting against climate change, by limiting global warming below 2°C, while keeping in perspective the adequacy of a 1.5°C objective as stated in the Cancun Agreements, is a challenge for humankind. It puts an obligation on our national Governments as well as on all groups and individuals who can take action to do so. Each should take its part of this global responsibility.

Meeting together for two days in Lyon, in the Rhône Alpes Region, through the international networks which represent them, these non-State actors, as non-Party stakeholders acting besides Contracting Parties to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) have strongly stated their common will to take on this challenge by aligning their daily local and regional actions with the decarbonization of the world economy scenario, taking into account the various national, regional and local circumstances and respective capabilities, and considering that the future of society is to be designed within the perspective of a low-carbon, resilient economy.

The World Summit Climate & Territories is not an isolated event. It reinforces a long-term dynamic aiming at building political momentum of non-Party stakeholders towards climate action. It relies on previous resolutions of local and subnational Governments’ networks such as the Local Government Climate Roadmaps (Bali, 2007 and Nantes, 2013), the Durban Adaptation Charter (2009); the World Summits of States and Regions in Montreal (2005), Rio (2012), and Paris (2014); as well as the Bordeaux and Yamoussoukro Declarations (2015). In addition, it builds upon the joint declarations of non-Party stakeholders “Catalyzing Action” (New York, 2014), the Lifou declaration (Oceania 21), or made at the MEDCOP21 (Marseille, 2015). It will feed into next major steps of the global mobilisation of territorial stakeholders (Ontario, Bogota, etc.) in the run up to the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, scheduled on 4th December in Paris. The World Summit Climate & Territories is an opportunity for participatory dialogue, commitments and proposals across all types of non-Party stakeholders, reaching an unprecedented level of synergies and representativeness.

With our different origins, cultures and approaches, we, participants to the Summit, wish to collectively claim our commitment and points of agreement, and we therefore declare our support for a collaborative approach to the fight against climate change:
We support a local and subnational approach to climate action

Firstly, we consider that the fight against climate change cannot be achieved without a truly local and subnational approach that takes into account economic, social, cultural and environmental realities. A successful strategy against climate change requires public policies and non-State actors’ measures to be articulated on the basis of a robust local approach, with a strong view to strengthening local and regional governance, to fostering fundamental rights protection and a sustainable human and gender-sensitive development. The 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) due to take place in December 2015 in Paris will therefore have to acknowledge the need for such a local community-based approach. With this in mind, we welcome the introduction of the so-called “Solutions’ Agenda” as a fourth pillar within the Lima-Paris Action Agenda in order to ensure a successful outcome in Paris and we underline our commitment to upscale the level of ambition by 2020 and beyond.

We affirm that global trends of negotiations on development and climate cannot be addressed separately: synergies are necessary between the discussions around the Financing for development Conference, the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Habitat III and COP21. Measures aiming at limiting climate change must also help face the other great challenges of our century and vice-versa, such as poverty alleviation, access to sustainable energy, water, and other resources, sustainable urban and rural development, food sovereignty, gender equality, decent work and workers' rights, including those of farmers; respect for the right of indigenous peoples, protection of forests and biodiversity, preservation of natural resources etc. Affirming and demonstrating these synergies is necessary to engage all stakeholders into a successful greenhouse gas emissions phase-out pathway.
Particular attention should be paid to adaptation actions, which have to foster resilience and a sustainable development at the local and subnational level, building on local and regional initiatives and traditional knowledge; the need to ensure a fair transition for territories, companies, and their employees during this period of transformation towards a low-carbon economy; and the need to strengthen the influence of women and their capacity for action, in particular in local governance. We also recognize the fundamental role of education, since raising awareness among the youngest generations and strengthening their ability to take action are crucial challenges in a changing world.

We emphasize the importance of financing for territorial initiatives

Setting up new financial resources is a necessary prerequisite for strengthening local and subnational capacities, with a view to developing a strong global action towards increasing the number of actions at the local and subnational level. Based on our experience, we know that engaging into a low-carbon, resilient economy will create jobs, bring significant savings and improve the quality of livelihoods thanks to social and environmental co-benefits in a number of areas. We call on national Governments and financial institutions to upscale financial resources dedicated to the fight against climate change, to create new mechanisms (guarantee facilities, green bonds, third party financing, internalization of carbon costs in the economy) with a view to increasing the capacity of actions. We support the engagement of businesses and labour unions into this collective endeavor; the association of all local and subnational stakeholders in the development, implementation, and evaluation of projects; as well as a local approach of energy challenges.

We believe it is crucial that local and subnational Governments in developing countries get privileged access to international facilities, such as the Green Climate Fund. Enhancing their ability to set up financially safe projects should be a priority of the international agenda. Likewise, we believe it is relevant to explore whether specific funds dedicated to local and regional action could be rapidly established; revenues of such facilities could be provided directly by subnational Governments themselves or through innovative financial instruments. Given the increasing array of financing mechanisms (public development aid, loans or public or private guarantees, allocation of revenue from carbon taxes, philanthropy, etc.), we advocate an integrated approach that will create synergies between these different sources, which have so far rarely coordinated their efforts. 

We commit to keep acting and to strengthen our engagement

Pledges formulated in Lyon by international networks’ leaders, especially Heads of Governments, Mayors, Prime Ministers, Governors or Presidents who can commit on behalf of their Governments, are a major contribution to the elaboration of the Solutions’ agenda and a credible scenario to stabilize the climate. These collective commitments are not theoretical. They originate in concrete results in a number of territories that have already managed successfully to reduce their GHG emissions and have undertaken ambitious climate adaptation policies. These initiatives, which are supported by the networks of local and subnational Governments, the Covenant of Mayors, the Compact of States and Regions, and the Compact of Mayors, today testifies to this engagement. We therefore recommend regular and independent evaluations of actions that have been taken, as well as reliable, easily accessible accounting of avoided emissions. Such accounting will build trust, as much as fulfilling financial needs through pledges to provide support. In order to back this movement, we will further develop the sharing of good practices and cooperation between local and subnational Governments; we will reinforce dialogue and synergies across all non-Party stakeholders and involve citizens, men and women, into the elaboration and the implementation of action plans.

In line with the outcome of the World Summit Climate & Territories workshops, we pledge to support coalitions for action bringing together all relevant stakeholders in the fields of low-carbon transport, development of renewable energy, sustainable housing, access to sustainable energy, right to food, etc. We call upon national Governments to support the proposals, which have been collectively elaborated by consensus within the workshops of the Summit, with the aim of strengthening concrete ways of action for non-State actors. And we urge all national Governments to include measures implemented by their non-State entities into their own Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), and to draw full benefits from local and subnational Governments’ actions.


Our pledges have been formulated on the basis of a dialogue between non-Party stakeholders, with their own various experiences and roots. They should support ambitious contributions from national Governments for a robust, binding, equitable and universal agreement in Paris, that will serve as a clear call to action for the collective good. Responses to climate challenge must therefore include reinforced international regulations, strengthened cooperation between and within territories, as well as equality and solidarity between all the inhabitants of our fragile planet. What brings us together is the conviction that the answer to this challenge relies on everybody’s action.
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