The report was prepared jointly by the UN Development Programme Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UNEP), and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). It identifies ways to improve local governments' performance in addressing climate change both at policy level and on the ground. Despite there being a high degree of convergence between climate change adaptation measures and basic local government service delivery (solid waste disposal, water and sanitation services and land use planning) the report finds that climate change does not yet figure as a prominent feature in local governments' agenda.
The role of local governments in climate change adaptation and mitigation requires greater recognition and support in global and national efforts. While there are many climate change issues that must be dealt with at a global and national level, such as regulation of CO₂ emissions for instance, adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change and natural disasters, primarily take place on the local level. A large proportion of global resources to finance adaptation, however, is 'captured' by central level governments and agencies. Local governments face therefore, significant challenges in financing climate change adaptation.
These issues have been the topic of discussion at the Global Energy Basel Forum in Switzerland, where UNCDF was invited to present new possibilities on how to meet this 'financing gap'. UNCDF presented new solutions in both its programmatic areas of Inclusive Finance and Local Development to face up the new challenges posed by climate change to local governments.
"Local Governance and Climate Change: a Discussion Note" is part of UNCDF's 2011 publications, and explores the growing interest of the UN Capital Development Fund regarding the role and potential of local governments in climate change adaptation and mitigation.