Empowering Subnational Approaches through Multilateralism to Combat Climate Change

Mishra Amlan , Biswas Dorothy Ashmita, Goel Shubhi , Chakravarty Smita , Banerjee Soham

Dialogues on climate issues, including the various multilateral agreements, have largely been driven by traditional state-tostate diplomacy. Nevertheless, over the years, new diplomatic players, such as cities, public institutions, and other subnational entities, are gaining signifi cant importance in climate diplomacy, and have brought forward ambitious commitments. Still, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change remains the domain of national entities and does not recognise subnational actors as formal parties to the convention.

However, it is critical to acknowledge the role of subnational parties as key actors in the global system to scale up climate action, and include such entities in multilateral dialogue platforms. There is a need to institutionalise an arrangement that generates a conducive environment for subnational actors to explore knowledge sharing, peer-topeer interactions, and mutual capacity building actions that can lead to the creation of progressive and eff ective climate action. Such an arrangement will also be a unique opportunity for the underrepresented and indigenous groups in developing countries to have a say in intervention and policy design, and aid in the process of inclusive and representative processes of multilateral agreements on climate change.

This policy brief aims to explore the potential for a global multilateral platform to provide a voice for subnational entities to negotiate and collaborate on climate action through the G20. The unique structure of the G20, with the presence of the Sherpa Track and engagement groups, allows for an ecosystem where such a platform can be piloted and scaled up.

Urban20, Climate Change, G20, Energy efficiency