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The Law and Climate Change Toolkit, an innovative tool to support the Implementation of the Paris Agreement at city level - WUF10 (8-13 February 2020, Abu Dhabi, UAE)
12 Feb 2020 -  Climate Change has been described as the ‘defining issue of our time.’ An effective response to climate change requires deliberate and sustained action from both state and non-state actors that is anchored in nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Implementing NDCs requires supportive regulatory and institutional frameworks and a regular assessment of their adequacy and effectiveness. Accordingly, UNEP, the UNFCCC secretariat and the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with several UN entities have developed the Law and Climate Change Toolkit. The Toolkit is an online database designed to help countries establish legal frameworks necessary for effective domestic implementation of the Paris Agreement and their NDCs. It is designed for use by governments, international organizations and experts engaged in assisting countries to implement national climate change laws, as well as academia and research institutions. Key features of the Toolkit include functionalities to search existing climate changerelated legislation and undertake an assessment of a selected country’s legislation. It is comprised of several thematic modules, including dedicated climate laws and governance, energy, agriculture, and urban planning. UN-Habitat is one of the contributing partners to the Toolkit and has led the development of an Urban Planning and Land Use Module. This Module was developed in recognition of the close nexus between urbanization and climate change. Urban areas are not only major contributors to climate change but stand to be significantly affected by the negative effects of climate change. Accordingly, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) calls for sustainable management of natural resources in cities and the integration of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation in urban and territorial development and planning processes. The Module is comprised of five sections including: planning instruments; mitigation planning; adaptation planning; economic instruments; and an overarching multi-level governance section. Each section includes a set of questions to enable users of the Toolkit to assess their urban legal frameworks with respect to climate action and offers suggestions for improvements where necessary. This event is an opportunity to showcase the Toolkit and its utility in promoting sustainable urbanization. By focusing on the Urban Planning and Land Use Module, the event will highlight the role of urban legal frameworks in climate change mitigation and adaptation. It will also highlight preliminary results of a mapping exercise that was done during the development and testing of the Module. The exercise covered 60 laws from 37 countries with varying degrees of development, emission profiles and vulnerabilities.