Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders: The Contribution of African Local Authorities to the Localization of Climate Finance

More than 1000 participants, among whom 780 local authorities took part in the 2nd Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders held on 14 November 2016 in the ochre city of Marrakesh on the fringes of the COP22.


After the first edition organized in Paris in 2015, African local authorities were strongly mobilized to insure their concerns about access to climate finance are taken into account by the Marrakech roadmap adopted at the end of the Summit.  The Summit was organized by the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Local Governments Councils (AMPCC) and the Association of Regions of Morocco (ARM)  in partnership with international networks of local and regional governments, including UCLG Africa.

The 2nd Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders registered the participation of local and regional authorities from 114 countries including 50 African countries. For this 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22)hosted for the second time by the Kingdom of Morocco after the COP 7 in 2001, the African Local Authorities were at the forefront ofthe fight against Climate Change.

Indeed, the Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders highlighted the stakes for cities by choosing the theme “Financing the Sustainable Transition of Territories”. The talks and discussions have resulted in the adoption of the Marrakech Roadmap for Action: “For a Global Action Framework towards Localizing Climate Finance, the Call of Cities and Regions of the World”.

Photo-Climate Summit-1 The roadmap takes into account the concerns of African local authorities and states as its two main actions:- The launch of a global campaign for localizing climate finance for 2017;

-The implementation of a Global Action Framework for localizing Climate Finance for 2020.


The Declaration of Cotonou adopted in the pre-COP22 of Local and Regional Authorities of Africa organized by UCLG Africa, also states the previous points. In fact, while in Benin, local authorities asked for:

– The creation of a window dedicated to local governments within the Green Climate Fund,

– The implementation, during the 2017-2019 period preceding the entry into force of the Green Climate Fund in 2020, of a technical assistance and capacity building program for local authorities in Africa to enable them to prepare and submit bankable applications to the Green Climate Fund and other climate finance mechanisms.

The Marrakesh road map ‘particularly‘ welcomes “the consistency of the political elected leadership of the continent through the Yamoussoukro Declaration in 2015 and Cotonou in 2016”.

Thus, the participants responded positively to the invitation made at the opening of the Summit by Mr. Mohand Laenser, President of the Association of Regions of Morocco (ARM). “It is important to explore all the possibilities of financing. Local authorities of Africa will have to be present. It is in the position of decision maker that local leaders can impact“, he said.

We can’t consider the fight against climate change without the involvement of local authorities and the support of donors who must take into account the requirements of the developing countries“, reminded Mr. Fouad El Omari, President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Local Governments Councils (AMPCC).

Photo-Climate Summit-3  Mr. Parks Tau, President of UCLG, stressed in his opening address  that the implementation of the Paris agreement cannot be done without taking into account the main international agendas including the new urban Agenda – Habitat III.


Shared experiences 

The 14 November 2016 was also an excellent platform for sharing of experience at Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders.

Woman must be at the heart of the actions in favor of the climate“, this is the advocacy made by Ms. Célestine Ketcha Courtès, President of the Network for Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) during her participation to the panel on “Partnering for Financing Resilient Territories”. “It’s women who manage family matters. It is them who are in contact with all the actions that can be with or against the climate,” the mayor of the Bangangté (West Cameroon) continues.  As an example of a good practice, she shared the construction of the ecological latrines that produce urea and ecological compost in her municipality since 2013.

In the same panel, the President of Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakesh, Mr. Abdellatif Miraoui invited local authorities to work with the universities to find solutions to fight climate change.

The Mayor of the city of Cotonou, M. Lehady Soglo, came to Marrakesh to meet financial institutions to find sustainable solutions to the recurrent flooding problems in his city. He hopes that this Summit will be the summit of action “with the provision of funding to local governments for tangible projects”. In the meantime, the Beninese capital will begin by taking advantage of the “experience of the region of Marrakech so that Cotonou becomes a green lung area. Marrakech has a smell because of its gardens. We want to establish a partnership in this area“, says Mr. Soglo.


For the moment, the Cotonou municipal team launched “safety campaigns and will award the cleanest areas. I believe that through awareness, we can make citizens understand that they themselves are directly affected“, said the Mayor.

In the North of Ivory Coast, Mrs. Nasseneba Touré, Mayor of Odienné, is committed to involve young people in the fight against pollution. “As a community leader, when it comes to waste management and greenhouse gases reduction, we try to cut down the amount of motorcycles. In the North region, motorcycles produce 102 grams of CO2 per kilometer.  With an average of 2000 to 3000 bikes in a municipality, there is a lot of pollution.  We create jobs in agriculture to take young people out of this area and finance “e-Cities” projects. We strive to have less polluting materials such as electric bicycles and motorcycles that produce less gas,” explains Ms. Nasseneba Touré.

The president of the Rwandan Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA) has shared the efforts of his country that is shifting to renewable energy with the construction of the largest solar energy plant in sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Innocent Uwimana also mentioned the fight against the ongoing deforestation in Rwanda to contribute to carbon emissions reduction.

The Network for Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) has produced a declaration for the COP22 during the extraordinary general assembly of UCLG Africa.

REFELA Declaration is available here.

The Association of African Traditional Authorities for Local Dynamic and Sustainable Governance also made a declaration in Marrakech. The association was created at the end of the first talks of Traditional Authorities of Africa around their engagement in favor of the implementation of the Paris Agreement held on 11 to 12 November in Marrakech, at the initiative of UCLG Africa.

The Declaration is available here.

Read the Marrakesh Roadmap here.