Daring Cities 2020 goes live - the world’s first and largest global online gathering on climate change for urban leaders

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Bonn, Germany (October 7, 2020) ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (known as “ICLEI”) launches Daring Cities 2020 – the world’s first and largest global online gathering on climate change for urban leaders.

New action-oriented virtual forum will gather and showcase urban leaders taking bold and swift action to tackle the climate emergency in the time of Covid-19.

Daring Cities 2020 runs from 7-28 October 2020, offering an online array of high level and visionary speaking sessions, a series of informative workshops and personal networking opportunities. The event will help to set the course to COP26 (the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference), Daring Cities 2021 and beyond.

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the climate crisis continues to impact cities, towns and regions around the world. While national and international leaders are struggling to address the threat of climate change, citizens and local leaders are mobilizing to disrupt it.

Designed by ICLEI and the city of Bonn, Daring Cities empowers urban leaders – such as mayors, city councilors, administrators, and urban thought leaders, as well as researchers, technical staff, business leaders, civil society decision-makers, community organizers and national government representatives – to tackle the climate crisis. Throughout three weeks the forum will showcase and catalyze exemplary local climate action, including ambitious resilience-building and climate mitigation efforts.

As Mayors, we witness the impacts of climate change in our own cities. We are driven by scientific evidence and our citizens mobilizing in the streets, while many of our national governments still struggle to raise ambition. We local governments are determined to answer the call of emergency, to be the ones daring to take the lead on climate action. We ask cities, towns and regions to join us for Daring Cities 2020 and get empowered to scale up your action and leadership,” said Ashok Sridharan, Bonn Mayor and ICLEI President.

Daring Cities is free of charge and is supported by major contributors from the Federal City of Bonn, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), and the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn.

Daring Cities builds on the experience that ICLEI gained in producing the Resilient Cities Congress for ten years. The goal of the Resilient Cities Congress was to elevate urban resilience to the global stage and raise its priority in international agendas such as the Agenda 2030, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Daring Cities expands on these themes to create a new platform to advance local governments’ work to respond to the climate emergency in both mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Through our Resilient Cities Congress, we created a vigorous community of resilient development practice at a time when no one was talking about resilience. As we look towards our next ten years of work, we want to urgently focus on the current climate emergency and the need to act boldly. While national and global leaders are struggling to address this urgent crisis, the daring actions of local leaders are spreading around the world. Daring Cities will recognize and empower these courageous leaders,” said Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI.


 The program of the virtual forum is composed of high level, visionary, and informative panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and personal networking opportunities featuring outstanding urban thought-leaders and changemakers, including:

  • António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Alok Sharma, COP26 President for the United Kingdom
  • Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn and President of ICLEI
  • Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability
  • Shinjirō Koizumi, Minister of Environment, Japan
  • Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat
  • Dozens of Mayors and leaders from local and national governments around the world

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required: https://daringcities.org/register/.


Exploring the Linkages Between the Global Climate and Nature Advocacy Agendas, October 8, 2020

Biodiversity is diminishing at unprecedented rates, and the global climate is changing faster than ever before. Cities are part of the problem, but are also the solution, as it is at the local and subnational level where actions to solve both crises can be deployed most effectively. Attendees will leave the session with a stronger understanding of the critical role of local and subnational governments in the global biodiversity and climate agendas. (more details)

TEDxDaringCities, October 14, 2020

TEDxDaringCities is made up of three sessions throughout the day of 14 October 2020, including the voices of local governments from around the world and a special Countdown film. (more details)

Innovate4Cities Day, October 15, 2020

What are the common action areas and forms of innovation undertaken by cities to address climate change? What are the implementation knowledge gaps based on city climate action strategies? And who are the emerging partners, needs and priorities in 2020 for cities around the world? On October 15, over the course of 24 hours, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) will present for the first time the results of research into regional research and innovation needs, opportunities and priorities. (more details)

The Role of Transport in Urban Resilience: Responding to COVID-19, Climate Emergency and Other Crises, October 22, 2020

This session will discuss how cities can future-proof their mobility systems and become stronger and ready to address climate change, air pollution, road fatalities and future pandemics. National and local policy-makers can identify measures to recover from COVID-19 and rebuild resilient urban mobility systems, improving accessibility for all and reducing risks of disease transmission in public transport systems. (more details)

Communication Skills to Battle the Climate Crisis: A TED Training, October 22, 2020

Right now, as we race to solve the climate crisis, effective communication skills are more important than ever. There are ways to hone your communication skills in order to become a more persuasive and charismatic speaker and leader. Briar Goldberg, TED’s Director of Speaker Coaching and public speaking and strategic communications expert, will guide attendees in this interactive and reflective training. (more details)

UN75 And Beyond: Inclusive Multilateralism And Voluntary Local Reviews (VLR) As A Tool, October 23, 2020

On the occasion of 24 October the UN Day, the event is designed as a dialogue among urban leaders and UN officials to explore the innovative options to seize the opportunities of the urban world in order to deliver the prospects of an inclusive multilateralism towards 2030 with a specific focus on Voluntary Local Reviews as an innovative tool. (more details)


About ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (known as “ICLEI”) is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 100+ countries, we influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. Our Members and team of experts work together through peer exchange, partnerships and capacity building to create systemic change for urban sustainability.

For more information about ICLEI, please visit: https://iclei.org/.

About the Federal City of Bonn

Daring Cities 2020 is co-designed by the Federal City of Bonn. An ICLEI Member since 2000, Bonn has been the seat of the ICLEI World Secretariat, while Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan currently serves as the President of ICLEI. Bonn is constantly working on improving its sustainable performance by adopting local action programs, successfully establishing forms of cooperation with cities all over the world and by launching activities in the field of education for sustainable development.