Published by
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability e.V.

Multilevel Climate Action: The Path to 1.5 Degrees

The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, released in October 2018, is unequivocal on a few key fronts: first, human activities have used up nearly all of the global carbon budget, and second, current national climate action plans—known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) - are not nearly ambitious enough to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The IPCC Special Report also projects substantial climate-related impacts will occur even if we do limit global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees.

What needs to be done is clear: quickly ratchet up emissions reductions to align with a 1.5-degree warming scenario, while dedicating much needed time and attention to adapt to current, and projected, climate change impacts. How this can be done is also clear. Achieving the 1.5-degree target requires the right combination of capacities, financial resources and data, supported by a strong enabling environment to boost action.

To create an enabling environment for climate action aligned with 1.5 degrees, multilevel governmental collaboration and data-sharing needs to be a key part of climate planning in every country. In other words, local, regional and national governments need to be well aligned and coordinated, both vertically and horizontally to connect corresponding levels of government. This includes two-way, free-flow of data, information and knowledge across levels. It also requires co-designed, evidencebased national policies that enable local climate action. Data from the carbonn Climate Registry (cCR), provided by 1,060 subnational governments in 89 countries, demonstrates the insights that subnational climate data offers. This includes where subnational governments stand on mitigation targets, as well as the specific hazards and risks they face.