The UK today pledged £27.5m of new funding for the new Urban Climate Action Programme (UCAP) to support cities targeting net zero. The programme, funded through International Climate Finance, will support cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America to take climate action and create a sustainable future, by helping them implement innovative climate action plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 and prepare low-carbon infrastructure projects to reduce emissions.
UCAP will help cities to implement projects like low-emission public transport systems, renewable energy generation, sustainable waste management, new climate-smart buildings codes and climate risk planning. By showcasing what is possible, city and regional authorities can demonstrate to other cities and national governments the opportunities available to drive action.
The programme will be delivered in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global network of cities focused on climate action, and GIZ, the German development agency.
UCAP will build on the flagship Climate Leadership in Cities programme, which successfully supported megacities in Latin America and Asia to develop ambitious climate action plans consistent with the Paris Agreement; including developing pathways to net zero by 2050 and committing to ambitious interim targets by 2030 to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
Press conference opening statement from COP President Alok Sharma, 11 November
Thank you very much indeed and good afternoon to everyone.
I want to start by noting that today is Remembrance Day, which was marked this morning in the UK Pavilion, and my grateful thanks to all colleagues who joined us to mark our respects for the fallen.
I want to turn now to the negotiations. Detailed discussions have continued across a whole range of issues over the past 24 hours. Archie Young chaired a meeting with Heads of Delegations yesterday to hear views on the draft cover decisions. I held a range of bilateral meetings with parties and groups, and also received comprehensive briefings last night from my team of co-facilitating Ministers. A tranche of draft decision texts were published early this morning.
These include draft texts on Adaptation; on Loss and Damage; on Finance; on the Enhanced Transparency Framework and Article 6. I am pleased to say that yesterday, we concluded the discussions on the Global Goal on Adaptation, confirming the forward work programme, and I hope that this will be adopted. Text was also finalized on Response Measures and on the Santiago Network.
As you’ll know, I held a Stocktaking Plenary this morning with all parties and observers to set out the collective work programme over the next 24 hours.
Now whilst we have made progress, and I want to acknowledge the spirit of cooperation and civility that’s been demonstrated throughout the negotiations, by negotiators and Ministers, we are not there yet on the most critical issues.
There is still a lot more work to be done. And COP26 is scheduled to close at the end of tomorrow. So time is running out.
As I speak, my Ministerial co-facilitators, other Ministers and negotiators are rolling up their sleeves and working hard to find solutions to some of the most intractable issues. Solutions, which have so far evaded us for six years. I’ll be holding meetings later today with all parties to find ways forward on matters specifically related to Finance and Article 6.
As I noted at the Plenary, negotiations on finance really need to accelerate. And they need to accelerate now. A further iteration of texts, across a range of issues, will be issued overnight. Having engaged extensively with parties over the past year, and at COP, I know everyone understands what is at stake for the future of our planet here in Glasgow.
We still have a monumental challenge ahead of us. Collectively we have no choice but to rise to that challenge. And strain every sinew to achieve a timely outcome that we can all be proud of, because ultimately this outcome, whatever it is, will belong to all of us.
(courtesy United Nation’s Conference on Climate Change UK 2021)