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Aligning Multilevel Climate Action Through the COP28 Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (CHAMP)

The NDC Partnership brings together more than 200 members from around the world, including 120 countries and nearly 100 institutions, to deliver on ambitious climate action. Through the Partnership, countries draw upon members' expertise and funding, turning their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) into actionable policies, programs and projects. This approach drives a powerful response in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

As we know, the effects of climate change are far-reaching and interconnected. Transformational change requires ground-breaking coordination to mobilize resources globally with an emphasis on multi-level partnerships and collaborative governance. To catalyze multilevel climate action (locally, nationally and regionally; involving sub-national entities, national governments and, often, internal collaboration), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) COP28 Presidency signaled their commitment to leverage existing partnerships and processes in their letter to the parties.

In response to the urgent need for increased coordination to catalyze greater ambition and action, the COP28 Presidency will be presenting the Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships for Climate Action (CHAMP) at COP28. CHAMP is an effort intended to drive greater engagement between national and subnational governments—including cities, towns, states and regions—in the planning, financing and implementation of climate strategies, while also looking forward to the development and implementation of the next round of countries’ NDCs for COP30 in 2025.  

CHAMP primarily seeks to connect existing initiatives that advance NDC development or help accelerate local level action. By fostering collaboration at all levels of government, or vertical integration, CHAMP aims to ensure that subnational climate action in cities and urban areas is taken into consideration in the next round of NDC updates. In doing so, subnational entities will highlight their climate leadership, while also emphasizing the needs for implementation support. Endorsement for CHAMP is now being sought from national governments that are Parties of the Paris Agreement. This endorsement will signify commitment to act according to the pledge’s six operative clauses: 

  1. Consult with subnationals;
  2. Collaborate with subnationals; 
  3. Develop 2025 NDCs in partnership with subnationals; 
  4. Ensure 2025 NDC investment plans include subnational action; 
  5. Conduct Voluntary National Reviews of progress; 
  6. Meet at High-Level Political Dialogues ahead of COP29 and COP30. 

CHAMP is comprised of Endorsers, national governments that commit to delivering on all six clauses of the CHAMP pledge, and Partners, non-national governmental supporters of CHAMP. This non-binding commitment will demonstrate that national government leaders, mayors, and governors are working together to find innovative and effective solutions to meet global climate goals.

An initiative of the UAE COP28 Presidency, CHAMP was developed with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, in close collaboration with subnational government networks, partner organizations and coalitions, such as the Global Covenant of Mayors, UN High Level Climate Champions, Under2 Coalition, University of Maryland and others.

The NDC Partnership is a key partner in this initiative, with a number of our members involved, including C40 Cities, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), UN Habitat,  and others supporting the Local Government and Municipal Authorities constituency, including the German government implemented by GIZ.

National governments wishing to request support or guidance on how to implement their CHAMP Commitment may submit requests through the NDC Partnership. Through our unique model of collaboration, the Partnership is ideally positioned to strengthen the multilevel governance called for by CHAMP.

The NDC Partnership encourages all partners to step up their support for multilevel governance. Country members wishing to request information on CHAMP, or support and guidance on how to implement multilevel governance, may reach out to supportunit@ndcpartnership.org. Endorsements can be made via note verbale to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and shared with Mr. Asif Nawaz Shah from the COP28 Presidency team, at champ@cop28.com.

Cover photo: © Hamdan Yoshida / Adobe Stock.