Report: Justice and equity should be at the core of climate emergency responses

Daring Cities is an annual forum in Germany designed to empower urban decision-makers to lead in the climate emergency.

From June to September 2023, over 1,600 representatives of cities, towns and regions spanning 97 countries from 322 cities attended the Daring Cities Dialogues and Daring Cities Virtual Forum to exchange on best practices, innovative solutions and creative approaches to a just and equitable transformation of our society in the face of the climate emergency.

The gatherings produced a rich set of key findings, which was grouped into three core pillars: justice and equity, innovative climate solutions, and multilevel action. This is explained in a 25-page report about the events, which includes numerous links to video recordings. The report is titled ‘Daring Cities 2023: A just and equitable climate emergency response’.

Excerpt of a drawing on page 15 in the report: seven roundtable discussions at Daring Cities 2023

Key findings of the forum “showcased that justice and equity should be at the core of climate emergency responses, from empowering those that are most affected by the climate emergency to prioritising inclusive decision-making processes that leave no one behind. Cities, towns and regions need collaborative action across sectors and all levels of governance, from local to national and interna-tional, to effectively address the interconnected challenges of climate change.”

“When responding to the climate emergency with the urgency that it requires, governments can overlook communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change and make long-lasting policy decisions that can further intensify already-existing inequalities. Just and equitable decision-making must be prioritised to ensure holistic policy development and implementation.”

“As we convened at Daring Cities 2023, we were tasked with pondering how to ensure a just and equitable transition in our climate emergency responses. It was a call to action for all of us to come together, engaging every sector and segment of society. How can we swiftly and effectively implement multilevel climate responses that not only address the urgency of the crisis but also foster a fair and equitable transition to a green local economy? This is our challenge, our opportunity, and our responsibility.”

“Many cities, towns, and regions are responding to the climate emergency, but they need support and action from fellow local and regional governments, communities and stakeholders, national governments, and the international community. Daring Cities showcases and catalyses exemplary local climate action to tackle the climate emergency, including ambitious resilience-building and climate mitigation efforts.”

“The climate emergency is asking for innovative solutions to create a pathway towards a just and equitable transition. Many cities are already responding through nature-based approaches, community-driven data collection, improved access to climate finance, digitalisation for transparent financial systems, and sustainable housing initiatives that emphasise affordable decarbonisation.”

Daring Cities 2023 was the fourth iteration of Daring Cities, which has occurred annually since 2020. Convened by ICLEI and the Federal City of Bonn, Germany, Daring Cities is designed to empower urban decision-makers – such as mayors, city councilors, administrators, and urban thought leaders, as well as national government representatives, researchers, technical staff, business leaders, civil society decision-makers and community organisers – to lead in the climate emergency.

Scheduled for 2024 is:

3-5 June 2024: The Daring Cities 2024 Bonn Dialogues – an in-person event where invited local and regional governments discuss key challenges within their work towards successful multilevel dialogue and action. Key discussions will be live-streamed.

August-October 2024: The Daring Cities 2024 Virtual Forum – virtual offerings focusing on the topics of food, nature (specifically the loss of biodiversity), and culture and integrating these topics into policy to address the climate emergency.

Download report (PDF, 25 pages)

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