Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI and Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia
Negotiations and developments at the international fora in the last two months have clearly signalled an increasing role for local governments in the coming years in fighting climate change and achieving sustainable development.
While the Paris Agreement, now into force, has provided a strong foundation for inclusive climate action, the COP 22 in Marrakech was more seen as the COP of solutions where local and regional leaders identified capacity building efforts, integration between the local and subnational levels and the global financial ecosystem, and knowledge transfer on funding sources and technical solutions as priority areas of action.
Cities from different regions across the world, including South Asia, placed themselves as vital partners in shaping the international climate scenario for the future and contributed to several discussions that leveraged their role in sustainable development. In Morocco, ICLEI South Asia also focussed on building partnerships for district energy systems in cities and for low emission development in Asia.
Just a month before COP, the New Urban Agenda was adopted at Habitat III, in Quito. We are happy that an agenda that is inclusive has now been adopted and we also acknowledge that the agreement is expected to have more implications on Asia whose urban spaces are booming at an unprecedented rate. At the same time, we are very hopeful that the city governments will contribute more to develop interventions which can both produce tangible improvements in urban areas and make the SDGs a success. Also, I am proud to share that Rajkot, an ICLEI Member city from India, has been honoured as the “National Earth Hour Capital” at Quito.
The ICLEI South Asia team has recently launched the PROMISE project in Delhi with an aim to improve local authorities’ capacity to perform as development actors. Also, under AdoptIUWM project, we have recently launched the draft of an integrated water management toolkit that is an attempt to address the common water-related issues that impact Indian cities. You will find more details on these launches in the newsletter.
This newsletter features two key people associated with ICLEI South Asia – the District Collector of Warangal from India and a sustainability champion who works with ICLEI South Asia.
With this, ICLEI South Asia wishes you all a very Happy New Year.