Just and Inclusive Urban Transition in global South (South Asia)

Date – 5th June 2024 | Time- 10:15 am – 11:30 am ( CET) | Venue – Room Berlin (UNFCCC Bonn)

Context

Urbanization and Climate Change Globally: Urbanization (city settlement) globally is defined as an area providing higher (multiplied) economic returns than semi-urban or rural areas while sourcing higher per capita resource requirements to sustain. Cities whether in the global north like Europe, Australia, United States or in the global south like Asia Pacific, China, South Korea, Japan etc. aptly demonstrate being high resource consumers as well as high capital generators.

However this does not holds true in case of global South( South Asia) as compared to the Global North, the urban centers and city settlements of the Global South, especially in South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka), are quite different as they not only lag in achieving economic outputs (at par with global average); but also fail to provide a decent standard of living to large part of its population with glaring concerns around air quality, water security/ quality, access to electricity, shelter, food, and hygiene.

An obvious reason for this is the lack of capital in the South Asian countries. Another contributing factor to urbanization in South Asian countries is internal migration from rural or semi-rural settings towards cities.

While Climate Change weather conditions, extreme season cycles, droughts, or unpredicted low or high rainfalls impacting the output of agricultural investment, there is an emerging tendency to move to cities for service-oriented skilled/semi-skilled economic options. All major agro-based economies like India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are converting into open service- oriented economies providing assured monthly incomes to skilled/ semi-skilled laborers in cities and urban areas. Thus, there is an urgent need for both mitigative and adaptative capacity enhancement to prevent this tragedy.

Objective

City Settlements and Urban Areas often Ignored in International climate policy discourse is the biggest GHG contributors on earth. All major sectoral emissions (Industries, Agriculture, Transported) are done to serve the industries, offices or inhabitants’ demands for energy, food, or goods and services. However, the role of cities/ urbanization is still understated across the globe, when discussing emission reduction.

Urban climate policies are an emerging area of work, as part of the envisioned transformative change towards sustainability in South Asia and the International Climate negotiations both at COP level and the SB’s (Subsidiary Body Level) is an important platform to raise profile of such important matter.

As part of the our 2 official UNFCCC side event designed as a panel discussion with an objective to underline the role that Urban Areas/ City Settlements can play in achieving a just and inclusive Urban Transformation. The panellist will discuss the role of cities from global South and especially countries from South Asian could play while ensuring that their Urbanization/ City settlements plans can display the need for an integrated policy and urban development framework that prioritises “low carbon development while ensuring that a right based, just and inclusive society are promoted allowing long term resilience and resistance being built for poorest of the poor.

Flow of Discussion for 75 mins session

A list of speakers confirmed as part of this side event are as follows:

S. No Name Issue time
1. Nakul Sharma Program Coordinator,  CANSAContext and need for integrating  Urbanization in to mainstream  Climate Change Discourse10 mins
2. Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director from  Sustainable Policy  Development Institute  (SDPI), Pakistan.State of Urbanization, Cities and  Loss and Damage Finance side  event Discussion in Pakistan15 mins
3. Sheikh Nur Ataya Rabbi Assistant Manager,  Research & Advocacy,  CPRDSustainable Recovery of Loss and  Damage with Gender focused  Micro level blended finance20 mins
4. Ms. Shreya K.C Policy Advisor at Clean  Energy Nepal (CEN),  NepalState of Urbanization, Cities and  Loss and Damage Finance side  event Discussion in Nepal15 mins
5. Dr. Almuth Schauber,  Officer for Cities and  Urbanization at Misereor,  GermanyMisereor and CAN International  Submission on Cities under Mitigation Work Programme. Sharing Experience, issues, and  way forward.15 mins
6. Open Q & A 10 mins
Moderated by Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA)