Accelerating Climate Action Through The Promotion Of Urban Low Emission Development Strategies (Urban-Leds Ii)

The Urban-LEDS II Project will build on and consolidate achievements to date, and expand the Project's reach into four new countries. This includes building on and replicating city, national and global-level

working relationships and networks established during Phase I, as well as using the proven approach and existing methods, guidance, platforms and tools developed in the previous Phase I and, where relevant, in other EU funded initiatives like the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.


The focus will be on deepening and extending the project approach, transferring those methodologies, tools, guidance and platforms to new countries (primarily Least Developed Countries-LDCs), using the participating cities from Phase I as potential role models and peers, specifically in their respective regions.


Urban-LEDS II will leverage progress made, and complete ICLEI's Green Climate Cities methodological process cycle for the cities already in the implementation phase. It will also utilize, where appropriate, other city-related instruments (e.g., as developed in the framework of the Global Covenant of Mayors). Here the focus will be on realising quick wins in terms of mitigation to ensure continuity and, wherever relevant, to build synergies between projects, networks and methodologies. The aim is to support finalization of quality local project preparation, financing feasibility studies, linking the Urban LEDS to statutory city planning, and activate the Transformative Action Pipeline –TAP (a local demand-side project pipeline).


The successful test during Phase I of the Urban-LEDS approach in the context of emerging economies (Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa) will be expanded in Phase II into four new countries (Colombia, Bangladesh, Lao PDR and Rwanda) of which the last three are LDCs. Thus the project will support eight new Model Cities and approximately 16 new Satellite Cities, guiding their entry into low emission development. It will also further connect the LEDS approach to a new secondary theme, climate change adaptation and resilience, ensuring an integrated approach while optimising planning and implementation of climate change action within the wider sustainable development efforts and needs of these developing nations. The aim is also to actively build the resilience of the most vulnerable sectors of society, increasing their energy security in a sustainable and climate change adaptation sensitive manner, in order to take effective robust climate change decisions.


When offering practical, tested guidance and tools to local governments to support the capacity building of local leaders and municipal staff, offers of capacity development can in at least some cases include non-Urban LEDS cities, such as cities committed to relevant national, regional and global initiatives. This process can rely on city-to-city learning and peer exchange with successful Phase I LEDS cities located in the region. It will help to expand the awareness, interest and capacity of local governments in the eight target countries (and to a lesser extend in other countries of the same regions), to progress with their Measuring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) process and to connect to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Paris Outcomes under the UNFCCC. The focus will be on the promotion, recognition, recording, verification and integration of actions by cities in reducing global emissions and increasing climate resilience within the global climate regime, as well as in their national contexts.


The Project will support counterparts and work towards vertically integrated climate action at the national and local government level, in order to create synergies and achieve greater coherence of plans, policies and actions.  There can be no solution to climate change without local climate and energy action. Vertical integration between different levels of government – from national to local – is essential to coordinate and mutually reinforce necessary approaches. It should provide a platform for fruitful exchange, joint planning and coordination. This is key in addressing climate change as well as sustainable energy planning, implementation and reporting.


The main stakeholder groups targeted are thus local, subnational and national governments in the eight partner countries. Here key stakeholder groups are both political representatives as well as staff, who would be responsible for strategy development, policies and regulations, as well as implementation support of climate action. The wider urban expert communities working on climate change and in relevant sectors such as urban development, energy and transport, are also relevant stakeholders and potential expert contributors.


Cities and national governments of other countries of the same regions will be secondary targeted stakeholder groups that may be invited to attend, take part in or contribute to workshops and activities, especially to enable building synergies and cooperate with other EC funded cities and climate change initiatives like the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy as well as EU Delegations in partner countries.


Throughout all activities, the strengthening of ownership of climate action is an underlying principle, and, where appropriate, the Action will target and include civil society, the private sector and academia in a participatory manner in planning and implementing the interventions. This good governance approach, particularly relevant in developing countries, will be an explicit goal. Where possible, the Action will strengthen youth and women empowerment and follow a human rights based approach.

 External and Internal Partners


Building on the history of collaboration in the previous (first phase) Urban LEDS Project, ICLEI and UN-Habitat will implement the Work Package activities jointly at global and country levels. Project management and implementation will be led by UN-Habitat's Climate Change Planning Unit at UN-Habitat's headquarters, and ICLEI's Low Carbon Team at the World Secretariat (ICLEI WS). Both functional units are responsible for assuring participation of their respective Agencies' structures in the regions and countries.

 We intend to partner with the Regional Offices for Asia (ROAP), Africa (ROAf), and Latin America (ROLAC), particularly through their country offices in the new Urban-LEDS II countries of Colombia, Rwanda and Lao PDR. Their roles will include facilitating country-level advisory group meetings, coordinating substantial inputs in the cities and so on.           

During Urban-LEDS Phase I we collaborated with UPDB's City Planning, Extension and Design Unit (CPEDU), to field International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) planning experts in two Urban-LEDS cities (under resources mobilized separately); and with UBSB's Urban Mobility Unit (UMU), for a bus rapid transit study in Bogor, Indonesia (via an in-house agreement). Under Phase II we will look for similar opportunities with UPDB/CPEDU and UBSB/UMU. Collaboration with Urban Legislation, Land and Governance may be possible, e.g., in review of draft city bylaws that help to implement low emission development strategies.

Region: Africa
Donors: European Union
Theme: Environmental policy and administrative management
Project Timeline
End Date: 30th April 2022
Start Date: 1st April 2017
Budget Utilisation
Budget: $9,724,102
Expenditure: $4,597,895
Outputs / Results

EA 2 - Supporting Local Governments in developing and approving Urban Low Emission Development Strategies in four new target Countries

EA 3 - Consolidating Urban LEDS achievements in existing (Phase I) Cities and Countries

EA 4 - Promoting International, Regional and National State and City Cooperation on Urban Climate Action

Enhance vertical and horizontal integration of climate action in support of National and Local Strategies and Policies.