Local collaboration for climate action
Closer to citizens and vital infrastructure, cities and subnational governments represent the level at which policies can be transformed into concrete actions. There is a consensus that these players have a crucial role in the fight against climate change.[i]
Recognizing this, the Italian region of Abruzzo has developed innovative ways of working with cities within its boundaries, including collaborating to disclose environmental data to CDP. This has allowed the region and its cities to develop a more comprehensive stock take of local greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts, a vital first step towards ensuring that these local contributions and climate risks can be managed.
As a member of the Under2 Coalition – an initiative that gathers together states and regions from across the world to lead the way towards a 2-degree world, Abruzzo has been disclosing environmental data through the CDP-ICLEI unified reporting system since 2018. As demonstrated in its last report, the Abruzzo Region is committed to working with cities in its territory on climate action and resilience. It has endorsed the EU 40% greenhouse gas-reduction target by 2030 through the Global Covenant of Mayors and, joining the Under2 Coalition, committed to “limiting emissions to 80-95% below 1990 levels, or to below 2 annual metric tons per capita, by 2050”[ii].
Recognizing that the impacts of climate change do not end within the administrative boundaries of cities and that responsibilities for key and high impact sectors are also often divided between the different levels of government, Abruzzo embarked on a pilot project with CDP to collaborate with the Municipalities of Chieti, L’Aquila, Pescara and Teramo to disclose environmental data. Only one of those cities, the Municipality of L’Aquila, had previously reported environmental data through the CDP-ICLEI unified reporting system. Under the leadership of the Region, and with support from CDP, representatives of the Region and the 4 Municipalities held meetings at the political and technical level to commit to increasing climate action, and to collaborate on data collection and reporting. Working on their disclosure in collaboration, the Abruzzo region and 4 municipalities will be better able to coordinate and align between different levels of government to create a fuller picture of their climate hazards and actions to build resilience. Environmental reporting through the CDP-ICLEI unified reporting system is an important voluntary tool for periodic monitoring of climate risks and impacts and, as this pilot demonstrates, it can also provide the basis for greater knowledge sharing between cities and regions, as well as with academics, businesses, and the wider public.This type of collaboration could lead to stronger, more coordinated vertical integration on evidence-based climate action to mitigate contributions to climate change and to adapt to the impacts of a warming world.[iii]
Nicola Campitelli, Minister for Energy, Urban Planning and Territory, Maritime Domain, Landscape and Waste of the Abruzzo Region said "We are proud of the work we have done in 2019. We are working with our cities to better face the risks posed by climate change and to protect our citizens, to give them a better place to live, and more economic opportunities. Our work with international initiatives, such as The Climate Group's Under2 Coalition and CDP, helps us to be more ambitious in our commitments, gain visibility and increase our knowledge to act wisely. We want to work with all cities in our territory on data sharing and planning to make a fair transition happen.”
[i] A milestone for this recognition is represented by the Paris Agreement. In 2015, UNFCCC Parties acknowledged “that adaptation is a global challenge faced by all with local, subnational, national, regional and international dimensions, and that it is a key component of and makes a contribution to the long-term global response to climate change to protect people, livelihoods and ecosystems, taking into account the urgent and immediate needs of those developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.”
[iii] Tackling mitigation and adaptation issues together will be particularly crucial for municipalities and the regional authority of Abruzzo Region in the near and longer future. The Abruzzo Region, located in central Italy, is in fact a region with a medium low population density. Its geographical conformation makes it extremely attractive from a tourist and productive point of view, but also makes it exposed to many different climate risks. The Region is in fact mostly mountainous - it hosts the highest peaks of the Apennines, the Gran Sasso, Maiella and Velino-Sirente, but it also overlooks the Adriatic Sea. As reported by the Region in the 2019 environmental report through the CDP platform, the territory of the Regions is exposed, depending on the areas, to serious climatic impacts such as heavy snowfall and rain, landslides, coastal erosion and flooding, heat waves. Those impacts – that the Region is already addressing partly or fully – can represent a serious risk for the production of local delicacies, for the health of people and can cause an increase of energy consumption.