Energy Monitor senior writer Dave Keating in conversation with Dublin City Council member Alison Gilliland, representing the European Committee of the Regions, at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

It isn’t just countries that are sending delegates to the COP27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Cities and regions are sending delegates as well, and in Europe this is being coordinated by the Committee of the Regions, an EU advisory body based in Brussels made up of local and regional representatives who weigh in on EU laws.

Alison Gilliland, a Dublin City Councillor who until four months ago served as the Lord Mayor of Dublin, is representing the Irish capital at the summit. “Cities, regions and local authorities are responsible for almost 70% of mitigation measures, and 90% of adaptation,” she tells Energy Monitor. “So we do play a key role on the ground, and we want that to be more formally recognised. We want to be at the table of climate dialogue when it comes to designing those actions – not just when we are implementing them.”

Gilliland is spending this week advocating for the role of local authorities to be officially recognised in the conclusions adopted at the end of the summit. Cities should have an official role at COP27.

“We are seeking to persuade the powers that be that in that outcome document, we will have a formal recognition within the structures,” she says. “We are also calling for regional and locally determined contributions that would complement our national NDCs. We think that if you split a country down into more manageable chunks and evaluate what is happening on the ground, you can really identify those areas that are excelling and those areas that perhaps need a little bit more support.”

This article originally appeared on Energy Monitor.

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