Multilevel governance

Multilevel governance is an approach to governance from the national to local level which provides a platform for fruitful interaction, joint planning and coordination, all of which are essential to the mutual reinforcement of approaches for addressing climate change, sustainable development, implementation and reporting. This solution provides a comprehensive set of guidance to governments (local and national) in implementing and practicing effective multilevel governance. The solution highlights available tools, guidance and good practices with a view to enhancing local climate action and raising the ambitions of national climate commitments – building upon the Paris Agreement rulebook adopted at COP24 in December 2018. The diversity of multilevel governance approaches provided here will make a significant contribution to establishing and supporting vertically integrated climate action and reporting that can in turn support the effective implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Motivation / Relevance

The successful mobilisation of multilevel policy dialogues held under the Talanoa process throughout 2018 resulted in COP24 inviting national governments to consider the outcome, inputs and outputs of the Talanoa Dialogue in preparing their NDCs and in their efforts to enhance pre-2020 implementation and ambition (UNFCCC, 2019). ICLEI played a key role in the Talanoa process by facilitating a total of 60 sessions of Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues in 40 countries (Meyer, Hwang, & Arikan, 2018). Guided by the Paris Agreement recognition on the importance of multilevel governance (UNFCCC, 2016), this solution on multilevel governance will provide further knowledge and insight on how to create synergy through collaborative partnerships as an engine of mainstreaming NDC implementation at all levels of government.

Main impacts

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) informed COP24 with its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C of the need for strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change in the context of sustainable development. The urgency of climate action needed for aching the 1.5°C pathway calls for a need to scale up the existing mechanisms and/or approaches on vertical integration and multilevel governance, building upon the policy recommendations from the Summary for Urban Policymakers (Bazaz, Bertodi, Buckeridge, & Cartwright, 2018).

Benefits and Co-Benefits

This solution on multilevel governance will serve as an integrated guidebook helping to better understand the mandates, roles and responsibilities of each level of government and how these interact. By providing a review of the existing and relevant institutional, policy, and legislative instruments as part of a governance stocktake, this set of solutions will help all levels of government work towards shared common goals and build mutual trust and confidence in promoting effective NDC implementation and building climate resilience.