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Warsaw Dialogue on Scaling-Up Local and Subnational Climate Action

published: 23 jan 2014 - 12:26, Arkadiusz Pawlak
Photo: R. Motyl fot. Photo: R. Motyl
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Mayor of Warsaw Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz

For the first time in the history of United Nations' climate summits the voice of the cities was heard. Representatives of local authorities were formally a part of dialogue during the High Level Segment with the representatives of the Parties to the Convention.


The voice of the cities during COP19

COP19 was really important for cities, because so far local governments had no opportunity to participate formally in the process of dialogue on a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The strong representation of cities raised the importance of this dialogue and motivated other stakeholders to engage in substantial debate on the new global agreement.

In Warsaw mayors and other sub-national leaders had an opportunity to meet and discuss important issues related to climate change policy. During Warsaw Dialogue, meeting organized by the City of Warsaw  in close collaboration with the global cities network ICLEI and supported by the UNFCCC Secretariat and held on November 20th, they had a chance to initiate the debate amongst the representatives of cities and also between them and the governments for their voice to be heard and duly taken into account in the multilateral climate process.

The conference provided participants with the opportunity to have an open exchange on addressing climate change on various levels, sharing experience and best practices. It offered various perspectives on cities role in climate change mitigation and adaptation – from mayors of world cities, through local organizations (ICLEI, C40, EUROCITIES) to representatives of governments and scientists.

Warsaw Dialogue agenda included four roundtables discussion on the following themes:

  • energy efficiency of buildings and cities’ infrastructure
  • waste management
  • transport systems
  • adaptation to climate change

The results of works during Warsaw Dialogue, including suggestions for national level, challenges and best practices to replicate, are presented in OUTCOMES OF WARSAW DIALOGUES on Scaling-Up Local and Subnational Climate Action, document available for download below.

Cities and regions were represented at the COP as never before. This is extremely important, given that more than half the global population lives in urban areas, which produce around 80% of energy-related emissions. Following Warsaw Dialogue, on November 21st, Cities Day – first day in official COP calendar dedicated to cities – took place.

High level representatives – Ministers, Mayors, sub-national leaders and representatives of civil society – were discussing mitigation and adaptation at a local scale. The debate was initiated and opened by COP19/CMP9 President Marcin Korolec, followed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC Christiana Figueres and Mayor of Warsaw Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz.

The first ever Ministerial-Mayoral Dialogue that took place during COP referred to creating a link between the high level, national governments and regions. It can be considered as the direct and immediate implementation of the Nantes Declaration of Mayors and Sub-national Leaders on Climate Change adopted in September 2013, signed also by The City of Warsaw. The discussion during Cities Day focused on enhancing adaptation and resilience in regions and on enhancing global mitigation efforts through acting at the local level. Participants shared their ideas and experiences that can be used in global struggle with climate change.

We hope that Warsaw Dialogue and Cities Day will be an impulse for further involvement of cities in dialogue on global agreement on GHG reduction and motivation for both national governments and local leaders to intensify their efforts, because only joint work may bring striking benefits in terms of mitigation and adaptation.

Attachments to download

  1. Outcomes of Warsaw DialoIogues on Scaling-Up Local and Subnational Climate Action (file: outcomes_of_warsaw_dialogues_final.pdf, file size: 74.7 KB)
  2. Programme "Warsaw Dialogue on Scaling-Up Local and Subnational Climate Action (file: programme_warsaw_dialogue_.pdf, file size: 253.84 KB)
  3. Presentation of Andrzej Brzeziński, Warsaw University of Technology (file: andrzej_brzezinski_warsaw_university_of_technology_transport_systems_roundtable.pdf, file size: 155.66 KB)
  4. Presentation of Ingrid Konrad, City of Bratislava (file: ingrid_konrad_city_of_bratislava_adaptation_roundtable.pdf, file size: 1581 KB)
  5. Presentation of Jeet Mistry, WWF (file: jeet_mistry_wwf_waste_management_roundtable.pdf, file size: 1030.73 KB)
  6. Presentation of Johanna af Hallstrom, City of Helsinki (file: johanna_af_hallstrom_city_of_helsinki_adaptation_roundtable.pdf, file size: 598.25 KB)
  7. Presentation of Merete Kristoffersen, City of Copenhagen (file: merete_kristoffersen_city_of_copenhagen_-_waste_management_roundtable.pdf, file size: 1439.51 KB)
  8. Presentation of Robert Kehew, UN-Habitat (file: robert_kehew_un-habitat.pdf, file size: 832.61 KB)
  9. Presentation of Stanisław Jedliński, City of Warsaw (file: stanislaw_jedlinski_city_of_warsaw_transport_systems_roundtable.pdf, file size: 983.5 KB)
  10. Presentation of Stefan Henningsson, WWF (file: stefan_henningsson_wwf_energy_efficiency_roundtable.pdf, file size: 1313.8 KB)
  11. Presentation of WorldGBC (file: worldgbc_government_leadership_awards_ceremony.pdf, file size: 370.16 KB)
  12. Presentation of Yunus Arikan, ICLEI (file: yunus_arikan_iclei.pdf, file size: 453.58 KB)
  13. Presentation of Seth Schultz, C40 (file: seth_schultz_c40_0.pdf, file size: 3252.46 KB)
  14. Presentation of Adam Sulkowski, University of Massachusetts (file: adam_sulkowski_university_of_massachusetts_dartmouth.pdf, file size: 2032.27 KB)
  15. Presentation of Krist Poffyn, Ghent (file: krist_poffyn_ghent.pdf, file size: 3459.15 KB)