Policy Briefings | Climate Change

A Place for Subnational Governments at the International Climate Negotiating Table

It can be difficult for subnational governments and cities to acquire a place at the negotiating table for international climate events, such as UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gatherings.

This is despite the fact that subnational governments are often best placed to implement the outcomes of climate change negotiations. The role of cities in global geopolitical negotiations and agreements has been undervalued, with subnational governments dependent on national structures to carry their message forward, even as the city space gains ever greater prominence with rapid global urbanisation. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local government associations (LGAs) have stepped into this often contested and politically charged space to represent the voices of subnational governments and cities on the world stage. They profile the need for co-ordinated, effective climate action at subnational level through improved vertical and horizontal co-operation with central governments and other role players in the climate action space.