The fifth meeting of the Advisory Board on Climate Change in Cities (AB-CCC) took place on Thursday, January 21, 2016 and held in Cairo House (cultural, educational center of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency “EEAA”). The meeting was organized by EEAA in cooperation with PDP and was attended by representatives from EEAA, PDP and different government bodies, ministries and local authorities. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the outcomes of COP21 conference which took place in Paris in November 2015 and to draw out national adaptation strategies with a specific focus on urban area, particularly the Greater Cairo Region.
In the opening presentation Dr. Mohamed Ismail, on behalf of EEAA, presented the articles from the Paris agreement regarding adaptation and damage and loss and stressed the importance of developing adaptation strategies. Mr. Saber Osman drew the attention of the attendees to the role cities play in climate change adaptation efforts. During COP21 organisations such as C40 group (Cities Climate Leadership Group), Climate Summit for Local Leaders (ICLEI), Local Governments for Sustainability, 100 Resilient Cities initiative by the Rockefeller Foundation, Global Covenant of Mayors, Cities Alliance, the Compact of Mayors, in addition to other initiatives and activists have been actively involved in developing cities plans and guidelines in order to support cities to build resilience, reduce GHG’s, spread low carbon technologies, improve citizens adaptive capacity, adapt to climate change impacts and manage expected disasters. Their advocacy work led to the recognition the role of the local governments and cities and their empowerment for the first time through Paris Agreement.
Mr. Philip Schuck, then, presented the different projects of PDP’s climate change component to assist in Greater Cairo Region’s adaptation efforts as an example of what cities can do. This was followed by presentations on the current adaptation efforts in strategic sectors such as agriculture, health and water and irrigation were held. The audience engaged in a fruitful discussion which stressed the importance of further studying the impacts of climate change on the different sectors in order to develop a national strategy to adapt to climate change, particularly in cities, in line with the Paris agreement. Also, new cooperation opportunities raised through the discussion such as the importance of proofing the governorates plans against climate change impacts, adaptation and opportunities, as well as, the importance of engaging in international local governments movements such as Local Governments for sustainability (ICLEI) to improve cities plans for better adaptation and resilience with climate change impacts. In addition, some ideas related to funding mechanisms proposed during the meeting such as proposing a special funding window for cities under the green climate fund (GCF).