Urban Journalism Institute

Key climate events:
towards faster action

After the success of the Biodiversity COP15 in Montreal in December 2022, where parties decided to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, spirits lifted. Just a month before, in November 2022, the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt was yet another lost opportunity for decisive climate action on the international stage. 

Egretta garzetta walking between many plastic bottles and garbage © F.C.G.

Local and municipal governments are the ones implementing climate policies on the ground. They are the closest to communities and people, and they need support and funding from regional and national governments to implement the many ideas that are out there. While there is now an important new framework on biodiversity, the Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement climate goals are still lacking in most countries. Here, local governments have the chance to show that even without diplomatic advances, faster action can (and must) happen in 2023 and beyond. 

The next big United Nations climate conference will take place in November and December 2023 in the United Arab Emirates. Other important events are the United Nations 2023 Water Conference in March 2023, the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June, and and the World Water Week, from 27 August to 1 September. These milestones serve as important reminders of the work ahead, but there is much to do every single day in between as well. 

Countries like Australia and Brazil, who both had a change in government last year, showcase how much climate policy can change for the better in a short amount of time. But the real work happens on a daily basis on the municipal level. Everyday heroes, from mayors to government employees, concerned citizens, and members of the private sector, push for greener cities and villages, implementing new projects and continuously raising funds. They are the key to speeding up climate action in 2023.  

Slum at risk from climate change and rising sea levels
© Richard Carey