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Driving the Green Recovery and Redesign: Embedding Local Climate Action at the Heart of Economic Stimulus Packages – Session 2


With the global Coronavirus pandemic, every sector of society across the globe has been impacted. The work to address climate change is being reprioritized, interrupted or delayed. Local and regional governments have had to redeploy sustainability resources to ensure immediate safeguarding of their residents and employees.

In his Policy Brief “COVID-19 in Urban World”, the UN Secretary General underlined that urban areas are ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 90 percent of reported cases, highlighting three main priorities: tackling inequalities and long-term development deficits and safeguard social cohesion, strengthening the capacities of local governments and pursuing a green, resilient and inclusive economic recovery. These proposals complement the six actions on climate change: invest in green jobs, do not bail out polluting industries, end fossil-fuel subsidies, take climate risks into account in all financial and policy decisions, work together and most important, leave no one behind.

At the international level, we are experiencing major disruptions of the global climate process. COP26 in Glasgow, Regional Climate and mid-year talks in Bonn are all postponed to 2021, which can be used as an opportunity for domestic processes to increase the ambition of nationally determined contributions.

But climate science hasn’t changed. The climate emergency is still happening right now, in our cities, towns and regions around the world.

High-level representatives from local, regional and national governments, as well as from the business and finance sector, discuss the challenges and opportunities for putting integrated climate action at the core of local economic stimulus packages for aiding the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the criticality of making financial resources available to those cities, towns and regions working to tackle the climate emergency.

Master of Ceremony

  • Yunus Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

Welcome on behalf of ICLEI

  • Manuel de Araùjo, Mayor, Quelimane, Mozambique; ICLEI Global Executive Committee

High-Level Dialogue: Localizing the Green Recovery and Climate Finance

  • Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, Director, Sustainable Development Unit, Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General (UN SG COVID-19 in Urban World Policy Brief) (invited)
  • Juan David Palacio, Director, Aburrá Valley Metropolitan Area, Colombia

Mannheim Message: Response of European cities and regions to the European Green Deal

  • Peter Kurz, Mayor, City of Mannheim, Germany

Introduction to GEF-7 Sustainable Cities Integrated Programme

  • Mohamed Bakarr, Lead Environmental Specialist, Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  • Min GAO, Deputy Director,  Financial Affairs Office, Ningbo Municipal Government, China; GEF-7 SCIP Participating City

Panel: The International City Climate Finance Gap Fund

Moderator: Maryke van Staden, Director, carbonn Climate Center, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

  • Gerry Muscat, Head of Division, Urban Development, European Investment Bank
  • Barbara Buchner, Executive Director, Climate Policy Initiative; Secretariat of the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA)
  • Andy Deacon, Director of Strategy and Operations, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM)
  • Andrea Fernández, Director of Climate Planning, Climate and Partnerships, C40 Cities