COP 27: Strengthened legitimacy of climate action by local and regional authorities

Six years after the COP 22 in Marrakech, Africa has once again hosted the world climate meeting in a context of extreme climate emergency, as the IPCC has repeatedly stressed. As such, the Glasgow climate pact was an important milestone in recognizing the need to place local and regional authorities at the heart of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the need to strengthen multi-level governance collaboration. COP26 in Glasgow also recognized the need for greater attention to adaptation in climate action.

COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh was labeled both a COP of adaptation to climate change and a COP of action. This is why it focused its attention on the process of accelerating the implementation of NDCs, particularly through their territorialization, and on the access of local and regional authorities to climate finance.

These topics had already been discussed in the presence of the COP27 Champion during the Climate Day organized in the framework of the 9th edition of the Africities Summit held in Kisumu, Kenya from May 17 to 21, 2022. The Kisumu Declaration adopted at the end of this day calls on UCLG Africa to better structure and formalize its framework of intervention and coordination with the governance bodies of the climate agenda of the African Union: CAHOSCC, AMCEN and the African Group of Negotiators.  

In implementation of this recommendation and in order to further amplify the voice of African local governments on climate action, a large delegation of UCLG Africa participated in COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, under the chairmanship of Ms. Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President of UCLG Africa and President of the Regional Council of Nouakchott.

This delegation included:

Ms. Rohey Malick Lowe, Mayor of Banjul, The Gambia and President of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA)

Mrs. Gladys Wanga, County Governor of Homa Bay County, Kenya

Mr. Wild Ndipo, Mayor of Blantyre in Malawi, and President of the Malawi Mayors Association

Mr. Murshid Hashimu Ngeze, President of the Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT)

Ms. Mhoudine Sitti Farouata, Governor Elect of Ngazidja, Union of Comoros

Mr. Samuel Oe-Amseb, President of the Association of Mayors of Namibia

Mr. Barthelemy Toye Dias, Mayor of Dakar  

Mr. Simon Adebayo Dinan, Mayor of the commune of Pobé, Benin, Representative of the President of the National Association of Beninese Communes (ANCB)

Mr. Aloice Ager, Representative of the Governor of Kisumu County, Kenya

Dr. Thami Ben Halima, Director of Agro-Tech, Souss Massa Region, Morocco

Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa 

Mr. Nbou Mohamed, Director of the Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems Department, UCLG Africa

Ms. Rahmatouca Sow, Political Advisor to the Secretary General’s Office, UCLG Africa

Mr. Mohamed Higazy, Director of the Regional Office for North Africa, UCLG Africa 

Mr. Abd Dayem Navae, Cooperation Officer, Regional Council of Nouakchott

Ms. Soumia Benlebsir, Task Manager, Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems Department of UCLG Africa

Ms Sara Zeroil, Personal Assistant to the Secretary General, UCLG Africa

Ms Khawla Benyahya, Assistant to the Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems Department of UCLG Africa

The presence of UCLG Africa was also manifested through a Pavilion in the Blue Zone of COP27 reserved for representatives of public authorities within COP27. A series of side events and meetings were organized in the UCLG Africa Pavilion, which proved to be one of the most animated among the pavilions of the Zone C of COP27. The UCLG Africa pavilion had the following activities on the following dates:

Tuesday, 08 November 2022: Meeting with the Minister of Local Development of Egypt, Mr. Hisham Amna, Bilateral meeting with the President of BOAD, Mr. Serge EKUE

Wednesday, 09 November 2022: Side Event: “Carbon pricing in Africa: an opportunity for action at the territorial level”, Side Event: “Climate financing for African local authorities: the importance of public-private synergy”, 

Saturday, 12 November 2022: Side Event: “Experience of the region of Nouakchott in the sustainable supply of drinking water to peripheral neighborhoods”, Side Event: “The industrial sector facing the challenge of decarbonization: READINESS in the region of Souss-Massa as a lever for accelerating decarbonization”, Signature of the sub-grant agreement with GCA

Tuesday 15 November 2022: Bilateral meeting with Ms. Barbara Pompili, incoming Chair, OECD WGI, Workshop: “Waste Management in Africa – COP27 Solutions Forum” (UNHLC), Meeting with Ms. Fatma Sahin, Mayor of Gaziantep and President of the Union of Mayors of Turkey, Side event: “Cities, Circular Economy and Carbon Reduction – The Role of the Cement and Concrete Industry”, Bilateral meeting with the Kenyan delegation

Wednesday 16 November 2022: Meeting with CEMR/ PLATFORMA delegates with the European institutions, Side Event: “The gender approach in the operationalization of the Pact for the Future of Humanity and the Paris Agreement”, Side Event: “Structured dialogue on local government priorities at COP27: The role of local and regional authorities in accelerating the process of achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement”, Bilateral meeting with Ms. Oriana Romano (OECD) and the Director of the water department at the AfDB.

In addition, the delegation of UCLG Africa participated in hearings with the African Ministers of Environment Conference (AMCEN) and the African Group of Negotiators (ANG); as well as in the high level segments organized by the Presidency of the COP. UCLG Africa has also participated in the launch of the following initiatives and projects:

– Initiative on waste in Africa that UCLG Africa co-pilots with the United Nations High Level Climate Champions Alliance (UNHLC) in partnership with AMCEN;

– Resilience Building in Poor Urban Areas (RUPA) initiative, in partnership with the Chair of CAHOSCC (African Heads of State Conference on Climate Change) and UN Habitat

– Hayat Karima Africa Initiative, in partnership with the Egyptian government with whom negotiations are underway for the domiciliation of the initiative at the UCLG Africa Regional Office for North Africa (NARO)

– Launch of the Green Climate Finance Africa National Designated Authority Network (AFDAN) in partnership with the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)

– Repositioning the mission of UCLG Africa in the new phase of implementation of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) in partnership with the European Union

– Strengthening of the African Mayors’ Roundtable Initiative on Water Security jointly led by OECD and UCLG Africa

– Launch of the African Climate Change Experts Network of UCLG Africa

– Domiciliation of the Technical Support Unit of the African Adaptation Initiative at the Regional Office of UCLG Africa for North Africa (NARO) based in Cairo

– Appointment of the Secretary General of UCLG Africa to the Steering Committee of the African Adaptation Initiative and his participation in the first meeting of the Steering Committee of the AAI

  Bilateral Meeting with the Minister of the Environment and President of AMCEN  


Meeting with the African Group of Negotiators

 Launch of the Waste Initiative co-piloted by UCLG Africa – UNHLC in partnership with AMCEN

 “Roundtable of Mayors for Water Security” initiative

UCLG Africa signed and negotiated a number of partnership agreements during the COP27:

– Agreement for the implementation of the partnership between UCLG Africa and the Global Centre for Adaptation (GCA) for an amount of 300,000 US dollars

– Partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for energy efficiency and accelerating access to renewable energy in Africa;

– Meeting with the President of BADEA (Arab States Development Bank) to sensitize him on the establishment of the Africa Territorial Trade and Investment Agency (ATTIA)

– Negotiations with the European Commission on the place of UCLG Africa in the implementation of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa (COM SSA) and its follow-up

– Discussions with the Italian government for the establishment of an early warning and climate risk management system at the level of local and regional authorities in Africa


– Confirmation of cooperation with UCLG World, ICLEI Africa and GCOM to accelerate climate action at the local level

 Signing ceremony of the partnership implementation agreement with GCA

 Signing of the MoU between IRENA and UCLG Africa

Finally, the framework of the COP27 offered the opportunity to sign the Memorandum of Understanding for the hosting of the 10th edition of the Africities Summit in December 2025 in Cairo, Egypt, between the Minister of Local Development representing the Egyptian government and the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Egypt and the President of UCLG Africa. 

 Signature of the agreement between the Government of Egypt and UCLG Africa on the organization of the 10th edition of Africities in Cairo, Egypt, in December 2025

The Declaration adopted at the end of the COP underlines that adaptation to climate change is above all a territorial challenge and that consequently; local and regional authorities must be in the front line to meet this challenge. The advocacy carried out by UCLG Africa, among others, has allowed local authorities to be recognized as a legitimate partner in the implementation of adaptation and resilience measures with regard to climate change. A plea was also made to formalize the LDC in the framework of the territorialization and revision of the NDCs; the formalization of the organization of a forum of local governments in Africa in the next COPs and the establishment of a financial mechanism to provide first aid to local governments affected by climate disasters.