The COP28 Local Climate Action Summit: COP28’s Spotlight on Local Climate Action

The Local Climate Action Summit will take place alongside COP28 in Dubai, UAE, on December 1–2, 2023.
In the sprawling metropolis of Dubai, an imperative gathering will soon transpire, signaling a paradigm shift in global climate action discourse. The COP28 Local Climate Action Summit, a groundbreaking initiative, sets its sights not on the lofty halls of international decision-makers, but on the bustling streets, marketplaces, town halls, and municipal chambers where change often ignites.


A Global Crisis, Local Solutions

As climate change insidiously reshapes our global landscape, its footprints are most prominent at the local level. The ethos behind the COP28 Local Climate Action Summit is both straightforward and profound: those who bear the immediate brunt of climate change should be at the forefront of its solutions.
Local governments and communities, ranging from bustling cities to remote villages, often sit on the frontline of the climate change battle, whether it’s confronting rising sea levels or grappling with unprecedented heatwaves. Yet, their potential in shaping effective and contextually relevant solutions remains largely untapped on the global stage.

Elevating Local Voices and Actions

“Local solutions for a global crisis,” might very well be the unofficial slogan of the Summit. But why is local participation so pivotal? Simply put, climate change isn’t a one-size-fits-all issue. Actions require deep-rooted localization to ensure they’re just, inclusive, and profoundly effective.
Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN’s point person on Climate Ambition, underscores the significance of such an approach, stating, “Local and regional governments are already leading the charge in reducing emissions. What we need now is enhanced collaboration across sectors and scales. This Summit provides a monumental opportunity for such synergy.”

Mapping The Summit’s Blueprint

Orchestrated by the COP28 Presidency and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the summit is expected to witness an impressive ensemble of local leaders – mayors, governors, and the like, buoyed by the support of influential networks such as C40 Cities, UN-Habitat, and the Under2 Coalition.
The Summit’s objectives are both ambitious and urgent, centered around four pivotal themes:
  1. Transforming Local Climate Finance: Pioneering sustainable financial strategies to drive localized climate actions via both public and private investments.
  2. Integrating Local Contributions: Melding local strategies into the broader tapestry of national and international climate agendas.
  3. Fast-tracking the Local Energy Transition: Spurring swift innovations across local energy sectors.
  4. Strengthening Local Resilience and Adaptation: Fortifying communities against immediate and impending climatic adversities.
Nomusa Dube-Ncube, a leading African voice in local climate action, reflects on the Summit’s profound significance, especially for regions like Africa, which endures the harshest impacts of climate change despite its minimal contribution to global emissions. “We are first responders, innovators, and, most importantly, stakeholders,” she remarks. “This Summit amplifies our voices, ensuring we’re not mere participants but active contributors in sculpting our planet’s future.”

The Road Ahead

As the countdown to December 1 begins, the world keenly awaits the ripples of change the COP28 Local Climate Action Summit promises to initiate. With local leaders at the helm, a grassroots revolution in climate action might just be on the horizon.