ARC3.3 launched at WUF10 in Abu Dhabi

Peter Meyer
March 24, 2020

UCCRN formally launched ARC3.3 at the World Urban Forum (WUF10) in Abu Dhabi in February. The launch announcement was part of a session on achieving the world’s climate research agenda that UCCRN shared with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) since ARC3.3 will address taking the next steps in applying research to action and that will involve more intensive work with, and leaning from the experience of, local governments.

The session was moderated by Peter B. Meyer of The E.P. Systems Group, a coordinating lead author of ARC3.2. In addition to GCoM, participants included speakers from other city organizations with which UCCRN expects to collaborate in filling knowledge and action gaps related to the Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science and in bringing forth ARC3.3.

Peter opened with an overview of UCCRN and our past accomplishments before moving on to the topics of the ten Special Reports that will comprise ARC3.3, each addressing a major knowledge gap identified in the Global Action Agenda. UCCRN plans to publish five reports each in 2021 and 2022 with editorial oversight by the Directors of our Regional Hubs to make sure that the policy-relevant studies link to cities in their regions. He encouraged attendees interested in contributing to the Reports to get in touch with UCCRN and watched happily as many took photos of the slide providing our URL.

He then turned Kathy Oke from the University of Melbourne, representing GCoM. The covenant, really a consortium of consortia of mayors and their cities, has implemented Innovate4Cities, an initiative to assist understanding of the needs and gaps at a localised level with cities in different regions across the globe. Her presentation addressed the mayors’ priorities for future research and action, a slightly different cut on the needed research, emphasizing specific environmental issues such as waste and water or particularly vulnerable populations.

Steven Bland of UN Habitat spoke next. He addressed the role Habitat plays in bridging the gap between policy research and practice, the key to finding solutions to the priorities that have been identified> Steven also mentioned the role of Planners4ClimateAction for which he chairs the research committee and its interest in collaborating with UCCRN and GCoM.

Paolo Bertoldi of the European Commission then focused attention more closely on the importance of producing city scale climate science to better guide local action and the roles that different international organizations can play in promoting better local-level understandings of climate risks and potential responses.

Kobie Brand next provided an example of a coalition of local governments that has long been interested in enabling policy-practitioner-research/academia interaction process that can inform local action, the work of ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability. Her contribution further stressed the need for improved translation of broader scientific findings to the specific situations and needs of individual cities.

Since every kept remarkably well to their assigned five-minute time slots, Peter could then moderate some questions from attendees before we closed our 45-minute session. Those questions were divided between queries about how to approach individual cities’ specific problems and inquiries about contributing to ARC3.3.