Urban-LEDS project


Name of initiative Urban-LEDS Project - Phase II
LPAA initiative No
NAZCA Initiative Yes
Website address www.urban-leds.org
Related initiatives
Starting year 2017
End year 2021
Secretariat UN-Habitat, P.O. Box 30030, GPO, Nairobi, 00100, Kenya, E-mail: urban-leds@unhabitat.org and

ICLEI World Secretariat, Kaiser Friedrich Str. 7, 53113 Bonn, Germany, E-mail: urban-leds@iclei.org

Organisational structure The Urban-LEDS project is quite ambitious and complex. Governance structures with specific profiles and attributions were created to support its implementation at international, national, and local levels.
Geographical coverage Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and The Caribbean, Western Europe, Eastern Europe
Name of lead organisation United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) & ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI)
Type of lead organisation International organisation, United Nations or Specialised agency
Location/Nationality of lead organisation Kenya


Description During 2012 – 2015 under the Urban-LEDS I project, ICLEI and UN-Habitat supported eight model cities in Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa to develop comprehensive Urban Low Emission Development Strategies and action plans using ICLEI’s GreenClimateCities (GCC) process methodology. In 2017, a second phase of the project was launched (Urban-LEDS II).

This new phase addresses integrated low emission and resilient development in more than 60 cities in 8 countries: Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa (from Phase I) and countries added in Phase II: Bangladesh, Colombia, Lao PDR and Rwanda. In addition to these countries, 16 European cities act as source cities and support peer-to-peer exchange and cooperation.

An Urban Low Emissions Development Strategy (Urban LEDS) defines a pathway to transition a city to a low emission, resilient, green, and inclusive urban economy, through its integration into existing city development plans and processes.

Objectives While the core objective remains to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the development of eight brand new city-level Urban Low Emission Development Strategies, a strengthened focus on adaptation and climate resilience will ensure a comprehensive climate and development approach.
Activities Activities of the Urban-LEDS II project's include the following:

1. Support and guide selected local governments in the newly added project countries to phase II in developing and approving their Urban Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS); 2. Consolidate Urban LEDS in phase I countries; 3. Promote multi-level governance cooperation on integrated urban climate action, leading to an increase in urban stakeholders' capacity to implement climate action; 4. Enhance vertical and horizontal integration of climate action in support of national and local strategies and policies; 5. Support the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) implementation, following the pillars of climate change mitigation and adaptation and acess to secure, affordable and sustainable energy.

One or two success stories achieved Phase II has served as an expansion to Urban-LEDS, with local governments joining the project in 4 new countries: Bangladesh, Colombia, Lao PDR, and Rwanda.

In 2018, the in-country project focus was on establishing key relationships with national government ministries, project cities, and other stakeholders, formalized through the creation of National Project Advisory Groups. The current systems of climate finance, reporting, and governance have been analyzed in four countries, and pilot activities to strengthen multi-level governance have been identified. Local governments have been welcomed into the project, their current challenges examined, their needs and opportunities identified, and capacity building through staff training has begun.

Globally, project partners have showcased Urban-LEDS and its core messages on multi-level governance and finance at various international events, including submitting a paper to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in collaboration with GIZ (German Development Agency). The project is in discussions with international finance partners, also in collaboration with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), to push for increased availability of finance for Urban-LEDS local governments.

In 2019, city-level project implementation is accelerating. New data to inform decision-making is being produced in the form of greenhouse gas emissions inventories and climate risk & vulnerability assessments. Pilot implementation projects will be scoped and project proposals for larger climate projects will be developed. Local government officials were provided the opportunity to meet each and learn from each other during a study tour of European cities.

Monitoring and Impacts

Sustainable Development Impact:
E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-07.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-09.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-11.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-12.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-13.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-17.png  
Function of initiative Implementation, Technical dialogue, Political dialogue, Capacity building, Funding
Activity of initiative Knowledge dissemination and exchange, Technical operational implementation (ex-post), Policy planning and recommendations, Training and education, Fundraising
Goals 1. Carbon dioxide reduction target of 12 MtCO2e;

2. 8 New Urban Low Emission Development Strategies elaborated; 3. 10 Peer to Peer learning exchanges involving local and national government staff; 4. 8 New project applications to the Transformative Actions Program (TAP) as a vehicle of support to the local governments to improve their projects’ bankability and to catalyze capital flows to their cities, towns, and regions, while strengthening their capacity to access climate finance and attract investment; 5. 39 Signatories to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM)

Comments on indicators and goals
How will goals be achieved At the city level:-

Analysis: Calculating greenhouse gas emissions and identifying climate change risks and vulnerabilities - Quality data assists local governments decision-making towards low-emission and climate change resilient outcomes, highlights priorities and potential, and builds the case for support from potential funders.

Action: Drafting and updating low-emission development strategies and integrated climate action plans - Comprehensive plans help drive local progress and attract external recognition and funding. These plans also achieve requirements of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) – the largest international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low-emission, resilient society. Mainstreamed plans build momentum for the transformation from unsustainable to sustainable local development practices and inclusive plans help strengthen a coalition of local actors taking part in climate action.

Implementation: Supporting the development of bankable projects and forging connections with potential funders, especially through the Transformative Actions Program (TAP) pipeline - Financing climate action through direct financial support to implement small demonstration or pilot projects that help to engage local stakeholders. Local projects demonstrate success, deliver enhanced resilience, and reduce emissions.

Capacity building: Training and peer-to-peer learning to support urban low-emission development - Increased awareness, enhanced understanding, and strengthened skills and relationships among municipal officials and local political leaders.

Integrated reporting: Developing comprehensive reporting of climate action for public audiences - High-impact mitigation and adaptation measures are identified and provide information available to build the case for external project financing

At the national level, the project explores and supports synergies and enhanced vertical integration between different levels of government. This is done not only in national reporting on progress in achieving climate targets, as reflected in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and in the National Adaptation Plans (NAP), but also in other related policy domains such as helping participating cities access resources for climate finance.

At the global level, the project will help to improve systems that support measuring, reporting, and verification of city climate action, congruent with national-level systems under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The project will also support advocacy in favor of integrating cities and local governments into international climate frameworks. Advocacy will also help to raise the level of ambition of local, national, and global climate mitigation efforts.

Have you changed or strenghtened your goals
Progress towards the goals
How are you tracking progress of your initiative The main Urban-LEDS II project outputs at a local government level include:

Greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory (baseline and monitoring); Climate change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA); Energy access assessment; Business-as-usual (BAU) emissions projection and future scenarios; Identify and prioritize development needs and opportunities; Stakeholder identification and engagement plan; Low Emission Development (LED) benchmarking assessment; Solutions for Low Emission Development identified both at sectoral and cross-sectoral level; Assessment of alternative Low Emission Development solutions; Local Urban Low Emission Development Strategy and integrated climate action plan; Exploration of integration of local action with NDCs and other national processes; Study visits and exchanges with selected European cities; Workshops and project briefs from experts and service providers; Identification of financing models and opportunities, with support to include local governments projects in the TAP pipeline; Meetings with possible funders/investors thanks to involvement in the TAP pipeline; City profiled in online platform supporting a global network of cities committed to Low Emission Development; Local actions, commitments, and achievements reported in the carbonn® Climate Registry (cCR), following the GCoM reporting framework; Verification of GHG emissions inventory and reductions resulting from implemented actions Case study to showcase achievements and city results, published in the Solutions Gateway.

Available reporting Urban LEDS I (2012-2016) Final Report:



Participants Number Names
Members 77  
Companies 0
Business organisations 0
Research and educational organisations 0
Non-governmental organisations 0
National states 8 Bangladesh,  Brazil,  Colombia,  India,  Indonesia,  Lao PDR,  Rwanda,  South Africa
Governmental actors 0
Regional / state / county actors 0
City / municipal actors 69 Phase II countries (2017-2021):

Colombia: Santiago (Colombia),  Ibaqué (Colombia),  Valle del Aburr'a (Colombia),  Cartago (Colombia),  T'opaga (Colombia),  Valledupar (Colombia),  Manizales (Colombia),  Enviago (Colombia); Rwanda: Kigali (Rwanda),  District of Rubavu (Rwanda),  District of Muhanga (Rwanda),  District of Huye (Rwanda),  Nyagatare (Rwanda),  Rusizi (Rwanda),  Musanze (Rwanda); Bangladesh: Rajshani (Bangladesh),  Narayanganj (Bangladesh),  Singra (Bangladesh),  Sirajganj (Bangladesh),  Faridpur (Bangladesh),  Mongla (Bangladesh); Lao PDR: Kaysone Phomvihane (Lao PDR),  Pakse (Lao PDR),  Outhoumphone (Lao PDR),  Songkhone (Lao PDR),  Sanasomboun (Lao PDR),  Bachiangchaleunsouk (Lao PDR).

Europe: Almada (Portugal),  Bologna (Italy),  Helsinki (Finland),  Hannover (Germany),  Warsaw (Poland),  Bratislava (Slovakia),  Riga (Latvia),  Alba lulia (Romania),  Madrid (Spain) Aalborg (Denmark),  Budapest (Hungary),  Cork (Ireland)

Phase I countries (2012-2015) & Phase II countries (2017-2021):

Brazil: Fortaleza (Brazil),  Recife (Brazil),  Belo Horizonte (Brazil),  Betim (Brazil),  Curitiba (Brazil),  Porto Alegre (Brazil),  Rio de Janeiro (Brazil),  Sorocaba (Brazil);

India: Rajkot (India),  Thane (India),  Coimbatore (India),  Gwalior (India),  Nagpur (India),  Panaji (India),  Pimpri-Chinchwad (India),  Shimla (India);

Indonesia: Balikpapan (Indonesia),  Bogor (Indonesia),  Bontang (Indonesia),  Kabupaten,  Tangerang Selatan (Indonesia),  Tarakan (Indonesia); South Africa: KwaDukuza Municipality (South Africa),  Steve Tshwete Municipality (South Africa),  Mogale City Local Municipality (South Africa),  Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (South Africa),  Overberg District Municipality (South Africa),  Saldanha Bay Municipality (South Africa),  Sol Plaatje Municipality (South Africa),  uMhlathuze Local Municipality (South Africa).

Intergovernmental organisations 0
Financial Institutions 0
Faith based organisations 0
Other members 0
Supporting partners 2 ICLEI (Germany,  UN-Habitat (Kenya).
Number of members in the years
Have only national states as participators No


Transport Agriculture Forestry Business Financial institutions Buildings Industry Waste Cities and subnational governments Short Term Pollutants International maritime transport Energy Supply Fluorinated gases Energy efficiency Renewable energy Supply chain emission reductions Adaptation Other Resilience Innovation Energy Access and Efficiency Private Finance
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Last update: 29 November 2021 13:13:50

Not only have national states as participators