DUBAI - Yesterday, the COP28 Presidency and Bloomberg Philanthropies convened the first-ever subnational leaders' summit at a COP, marking a new era of inclusion and integration in the COP programme and process.

The COP28 Local Climate Action Summit (LCAS) was held during the COP28 World Climate Action Summit and hosted by COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber and Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. It is supported by world-leading networks of local leaders.

The summit, which united over 450 attendees from over 60 countries, including over 250 mayors and governors, focused on driving greater integration in four key areas: transforming local climate finance, integrating local contributions to enhance global action, fast-tracking the local energy transition and strengthening local resilience and adaptation.

Speakers at LCAS included UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Commission Executive Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, Xie Zhenhua, Special Envoy for Climate Change of the People's Republic of China, and the Governors and Mayors of Bogota, Dubai, Makati, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Commenting on the summit, COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber stated: "LCAS marked another first for COP28 and a major moment in this Presidency's effort to host an inclusive COP. LCAS formally recognizes the critical role of local leaders in reducing emissions, addressing climate risk, and supercharging national efforts to move further and faster on climate progress. It is a pleasure to meet so many inspirational leaders".

"Allow me to thank the Secretary General of the United Nations, and the President of COP28, and Mike Bloomberg because mayors need commitment at this level," said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France. "If you want to achieve the Paris Agreement targets, we need to have cities in the room. What happened today is a major success. And to all of my colleagues, let's make sure mayors remain in the room."

During LCAS, the COP28 Presidency launched 'Coalition for High Ambition Multi-Level Partnerships' (CHAMP). Developed in consultation with subnational and national leaders, along with a diverse set of stakeholders, CHAMP is a pioneering initiative that recommends a new process for local and regional leaders to contribute to developing updated and ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). CHAMP has been endorsed by 63 national governments fostering collaboration between national and subnational levels to find a new, inclusive, and ambitious approach to updating Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). It provides a mechanism to harvest the best ideas for climate action from the local level, to ensure the next round of national climate targets are as ambitious and inclusive as possible.

The latest synthesis report from this year's Global Stocktake highlighted the need for the urgent acceleration of higher climate ambition and improved multi-level action.

More than 1000 cities have signed up to the Race to Zero, with their collective commitment having the potential to reduce emissions by 1.4 gigatons annually by 2030. CHAMP is a catalyst to further enhance this contribution and accelerate local action.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said: "CHAMP proposes a new and more inclusive way of forming ambitious and importantly actionable NDCs. Following COP, nations are encouraged to invite their subnational jurisdictions to prepare and submit climate plans as inputs to updated NDCs. Nations will submit these in two years ahead of COP30, and we look forward to seeing the input of local and regional knowledge and expertise."

In support of this new approach, Mike Bloomberg announced a new $65 million commitment to continue his longtime support for local climate action and emissions reduction around the world. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the funding will provide critical support to leading city networks, expand data and research, and strengthen capacity for local climate finance. This announcement brings Mike's commitment to supporting cities in reducing emissions to over $650 million.

Mike Bloomberg said, "In 2015, after decades of being sidelined, mayors crashed the Paris COP and pushed national leaders into signing a first-ever global agreement. This year, for the first time ever, local and regional leaders have been formally invited to participate in the proceedings -- which reflects how the ambitions and influence of cities have continued to grow."

Today's Summit comes eight years after the Climate Summit for Local Leaders convened by Mike Bloomberg and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on the sidelines of COP21. To mark the occasion, Bloomberg Philanthropies also released a new report - Paris to Dubai: Local Climate Leadership in Action - outlining the historic progress cities and regions have made and outlining the steps necessary for greater ambition and partnership to accelerate climate action ahead of 2030.

Mike Bloomberg continued, "Local leaders recognise that reducing emissions goes hand-in-hand with raising economic growth and improving public health, and more and more leaders are recognizing the financial opportunities that the transition away from fossil fuels is creating. The COP28 Local Climate Action Summit is a chance for leaders from all levels of government to come together, forge new partnerships, and continue leading by example."

LCAS featured a series of panels and remarks from global and local leaders.

Speaking about the challenges of getting adequate funding for local climate projects, Abigail Binay, Mayor of Makati, Philippines, said, "The Philippines and other countries have not been able to get the funding they need on a national level. And now we're coming in on a city level. Do we actually really think that the cities will get the same amount or the same or enough access to this funding? I hope that under the leadership of Dr. Sultan that we will make that happen, and under the leadership and cooperation of the UN, Bloomberg Philanthropies and COP28 as well."

The second day of LCAS will include a series of breakout sessions focusing on critical topics such as a just energy transition, financing sustainable infrastructure, health, adaptation and resilience, multilateral development bank reform and the role of nature.

Day two will also feature a Mayors Innovation Studio, where more than 150 mayors from across the globe will receive tools to enable young people in their communities to co-design, co-produce, and co-govern urgent climate strategies and policies.

Country Endorsement of CHAMP (63): Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Eswatini, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kiribati, Lebanon, Lesotho, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, UAE, USA, Yemen, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Bhutan and Panama.