Malmö Commitment at COP28

In just a couple of days global leaders will convene at COP28 in Dubai, and so will we! The Multilevel Action & Urbanization Pavilion will serve as the global stage for the city climate agenda during COP28, bringing together cities, towns, and regions, as well as international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors to discuss urgent climate action.

It is clear that socially just transitions are key to ensure climate initiatives reach their full potential. That is why it is essential to bring equity to the core of these climate discussions. ICLEI leaders will be disseminating the Malmö Commitment message at COP28 to make sure equity and social justice are not lost in the discussions.

What is the Malmö Commitment?

The Malmö Commitment brings together bold local and regional governments who dare to recognize and acknowledge their social inequalities and sustainability challenges, and are willing to deliver ambitious equitable sustainability action to overcome them. Through a wide range of resources, tools and guidance to support local and regional governments, the Malmö Commitment encourages sustainable approaches, innovation, adaptability, participation and inclusiveness.

Justice and equity at the core of the response to the climate emergency

Vulnerable groups, low-income communities, minorities, and traditionally neglected residents of our cities, towns and regions, are disproportionately impacted by the climate and nature crises. The people who usually contribute to the climate emergency the least, are the ones who suffer its effects the most.

In order to have a just and equitable future, we must address existing and historic inequalities and injustices.

Historic inequalities and injustices still shape our societies of today, together with the existing ones. Often climate investments and action fail to reach the most vulnerable groups. That is why it is essential to know who these groups of people are in our local contexts and understand how we can integrate their needs into local sustainability action plans, so we can design programs that transform these realities. Accurate and disaggregated data plays an extremely important role here.

Participatory approaches and equitable co-designs will ensure the benefits of climate action will spread more broadly to the whole community.

The inclusion and engagement of communities and voices disproportionately affected by climate change should be a key priority in climate emergency response. This should be paired with a robust assessment of climate risks and vulnerabilities with emphasis on those disproportionately affected communities, to show what the specific needs are and identify appropriate approaches for climate action. Participatory approaches and equitable co-designs will ensure all voices are heard and the benefits of sustainability policies and climate action will spread more broadly to the whole community.

Pioneers of the Malmö Commitment are taking action

Pioneers of the Malmö Commitment have identified key sustainability challenges in their communities as well as vulnerable community groups who are particularly affected by these challenges. They are working with ICLEI to design social equity indicators to measure and monitor their progress in addressing their challenges, report their progress and share successes and lessons learned. Data should not only be available, but also of good quality, easily accessible, understandable, contextualized and practical for sensible policy-making. By participating in peer-exchanges, global events, and UN processes, pioneers of the Malmö Commitment will disseminate the message, share valuable lessons learned and call for action to neighboring communities to join the collective efforts with the urgency that the climate and nature crises require.


If this COP28 is the pivotal moment for cities and subnational governments in the climate crisis, let’s ensure to make the diversity of our cities, towns, and regions our strength to fight against climate change. Leveling up the diversity of underrepresented voices will make our climate emergency response more resilient and just, ensuring a livable future for all.