Hand in hand for urban transformation: roles and responsibilities at the local, national and international level to enable cities’ climate leadership

The Paris Agreement which was adopted in December 2015 sets the pace for global action against climate change for the coming years and decades. In its preamble it underlines the importance of all levels of government engaging in and contributing to tackling the climate challenge. Given the significance of cities in emitting greenhouse gases as well as their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, their role in advancing a low-carbon and climate resilient development should not be underestimated. An urban transformation is key as it will decisively shape the functionality of cities for the next 50 to 100 years. This publication has been developed to guide policy makers on how such a transformation can take place. It describes why local governments have such important roles to play and what relevant parameters they can adjust to move cities forward on a low-carbon and climate-resilient path. It visualises the steps local governments have to take to lead cities towards becoming climate compatible urban spaces and it reviews the different forms of financing sources that are available to cities. Moreover, it looks at the responsibilities of national governments and what can be done domestically to encourage such a transformation. Lastly, the publication considers the international level with a particular focus on the Green Climate Fund, the largest climate fund to date, and how it can support cities through the different financing structures it provides.