Highlights and images for 7 March 2018



The CitiesIPCC conference met for its third and final day on Wednesday. Discussions were devoted to the fourth conference theme: Enabling transformative climate action in cities (advancing science and advancing cities). Given the upcoming IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, several panels were dedicated to exploring emissions pathways, and the challenges and role of cities to contribute to meeting this target, including an exploration of territorial versus consumption-based emissions.

Throughout the day, participants identified research gaps that could unlock the potential for cities to reduce their emissions and enhance resilience, while addressing inequalities and other social issues. The need for research on inclusion and social transformation, particularly for the most vulnerable, was mentioned by many. Several research gaps on informality were noted, such as:

  • Understanding the dynamics between formal and informal economies;
  • Developing analytical tools to analyze challenges in informal settlements; and,
  • Fostering communities of knowledge, including indigenous and local knowledge systems.

The motivation of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to co-design the future research agenda, which, in one session a convenor described as a “daunting task,” led to the identification of a wide range of research needs. A few of the clusters of research needs were:

  • Aggregating local achievements: comparable or standardized data gathering methods; ways to model and assess potential emission reductions; tools to measure policy performance; methods to reduce the reporting burden on cities; and ways to avoid double counting;
  • Governance: how to create path dependencies that “lock in” policies and behaviors to reduce emissions and improve resilience; integrating policies at local, national, and regional scales
  • Building capacity: providing cities access to long-term climate impact and risk information; and technical training for cities
  • Finance: methodologies to determine social benefits in cost-benefit analyses; ways to stimulate demand for small adaptation projects; tools to reduce barriers to local governments accessing finance; and ways to make capital costs serve the needs of secondary cities.

In this research agenda, many participants and panelists underscored the need for a robust science-policy-practice interface to continue the work of this conference in the future.

Closing the conference, Mayor Don Iveson, Edmonton, Canada, outlined the legacies of this conference, from a research agenda, and partnerships with youth, to his personal commitment to mobilize cities to support science-based climate policy.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage provided daily digital coverage and a summary report from the 2018 CitiesIPCC Conference. The summary report is now available in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis
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Closing Plenary

Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton, Canada

Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities

David Miller​, C40 Cities Regional Director, North America and C40 Cities Ambassador for Inclusive Climate Action

Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, Central European University

Seth Schultz, C40 Cities

Shobhakar Dhakal, Asian Institute of Technology

Organizing Committee group photo

Theme 4 Plenary: Enabling Transformative Climate Action in Cities (Advancing Science and Advancing Cities)

From L-R: David Miller, C40 Cities; Christopher Kennedy, University of Victoria; Jaimin Upadhyay, Mayor of Rajkot, India; Filiep Decorte, UN-Habitat; Priya Kurian, University of Waikato; and Gino Van Begin, Secretary-General, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

Priya Kurian, University of Waikato

Christopher Kennedy, University of Victoria

Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA GISS, and Co-Director, Urban Climate Change Research Network

Gino Van Begin, Secretary-General, ICLEI

From L-R: Jennifer Lenhart, IISD; Jaimin Upadhyay, Mayor of Rajkot, India; and Yunus Arikan, ICLEI

The Importance of Monitoring and Reporting for the Aggregated Impact of Local Climate Action and the Assessment of Covenant of Mayors Initiative

From L-R: Stelios Grafakos, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Amanda Eichel, Global Covenant of Mayors Secretariat; Maryke Van Staden, ICLEI; Edoardo Croci, Universita Bocconi; Jen Heemann, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Anthony Bigio, George Washington University; and Lauren Ross, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Stelios Grafakos, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Paolo Bertoldi, European Commission Joint Research Centre

Climate Adaptation Finance: Urban Perspectives

Jesse Keenan, Harvard University

Dumisani Chirambo, Seeds of Opportunity

What Does the Transition to a 1.5 C City Look Like

Andreas Tveteraas, Office for Climate, Department of Environment and Transport, City of Oslo

Heidi Sørensen, Director of Climate Agency, City of Oslo

Aromar Revi, Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)

Informal Settlements and Economies: Means for Transformative Climate Action

Gale Tracy Christiane Rigobert, Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Saint Lucia

Sheela Patel, Director, Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), and Chair, Slum Dwellers International

Kabir Arora, Alliance of Indian Waste Pickers

Youth Voices and Climate Change Knowledge: Empowering Youth in Conversations on Climate Impact and Vulnerabilities

Natalia Okutoi, Kenya, and Pedro Lomando Restum de Macedo Rocha, Brazil

Lin “Judy” Jingtong, China

Kevina Nuraini Yusuf, Indonesia

Supporting Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Implementation in Urban Areas and Vertical Integration of Climate Actions

Nicola Tollin, University of Southern Denmark

Marcus Mayr, UN-Habitat

David Oehmen, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Challenges and Opportunities for Locking-in Positive Climate Responses in Cities

Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, Central European University

Karen Seto, Yale University

Kate Noble, City of Melbourne

Raising and Steering Finance for Climate Action in Cities

Aniruddha Dasgupta, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

Günter Meinert, German Development Cooperation (GIZ)

Andrew Sudmant, University of Leeds


Aniruddha Dasgupta, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, and David Jackson, UN Capital Development Fund

María Verónica Arias, Environment Secretary, Quito, Ecuador

Maryke van Staden, ICLEI

Transforming Cities for a 1.5 Degree World

William Solecki, City University of New York

Yunus Arikan, ICLEI

Michael Doust, C40 Cities

Future Research Agenda

From L-R: Helen Cleugh, WCRP Joint Scientific Committee; Jessica Seddon, WRI Ross Center for Cities; Aisa Tobing, Jakarta Research Council; Rosa Morales, Director of Climate, Peru; Alessandra Sgobbi, DG CLIMA, European Commission; and Emmanuelle Pinault, C40 Cities

Helen Cleugh, WCRP Joint Scientific Committee

Alessandra Sgobbi, DG CLIMA, European Commission, and Emmanuelle Pinault, C40 Cities

Climate Change and Informality in Cities

Aliyu Barau, Bayero University, Kano

David Dodman, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Between Sessions


Non-state coalitions