November 02, 2021



From Mission to Action: Collaboratively unlocking the potential for climate neutral cities

Thematic session in the framework of the programme of the German Pavilion at COP 26
(focal topic: mitigation)

Organisers:                      Association of German Cities (DST), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and Connective Cities 


2 November 2021, 14:00-15:00 UK time, 15:00-16:00 German time


Join the livestreamed session online by creating a profile on:


Background and objectives


The Paris Agreement cannot be implemented without the local level, neither can regional flagship initiatives like the European Green Deal. Cities around the world have recognized the global challenges of climate change and committed to climate neutrality. To accomplish this goal, more ambitious and integrated climate targets for 2030 and 2050 are needed. In Europe the Green Deal provides a comprehensive framework and currently triggers Local Green Deals that transpose mission to action. Do political signals such as the declaration on the climate emergency help to achieve climate neutrality and establish civil society buy-in? How does a just transition to green energy work at the local level? How can market-based instruments be used to advance the Green Deal?


Features of the virtual format

Despite its hybrid format, the event wants to be an opportunity for interactive and mutual exchange on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and of the European Green Deal collaboratively with the local level as well as the alignment of local strategies with national strategies among the speakers and the participating audience. A chat function (interaction tool) will offer the possibility to collect questions and comments during the event and a specific Q&A session is planned at the end of the panel discussion.

The event language is English.

Detailed schedule of the session





14:00 – 14:05 (UK time)

15:00 - 15:05 (German time)



Sabine Drees, Senior Advisor for International Affairs, Association of German Cities (DST)

14:05 – 14:15 (UK time)

15:05 - 15:15 (German time)


Yunus Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

14:15 – 14:45 (UK time)

15:15 - 15:45 (German time)

Panel discussion

Dr. Peter Kurz, Mayor, City of Mannheim, Germany

Brigid Shea, Commissioner of Travis County, USA and Chair of ICLEI US Board

Prof. YUN Sun-Jin, Co-Chairperson, 2050 Carbon Neutrality Commission, Republic of Korea

14:45 – 14:55 (UK time)

15:45 - 15:55 (German time)

Q&A session



14:55 – 15:00 (UK time)

15:55 - 16:00 (German time)

Wrap up

Sabine Drees, Senior Advisor for International Affairs, Association of German Cities (DST)




Yunus Arikan has been working at ICLEI World Secretariat since 2009. Between 2009-2012, he led ICLEI´s Cities Climate Center. Within this scope, he advanced and coordinated ICLEI´s work on cli-mate mitigation, established the Bonn Center for Local Climate Action and Reporting – carbonn, operating the Cities Climate Registry, and served as the Director of Secretariat the World Mayors Council on Climate Change. Since 2013, he leads ICLEI´s policy and advocacy work at the UN ECOSOC, UN bodies and multilateral agreements.


Since becoming mayor in 2007, Dr. Peter Kurz has worked to realign municipal policy to ensure that the city administration relies on the participation of its citizens in driving the social, cultural, scientific, and economic development of the city. In 2019, Mayor Kurz led a process to localize the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the city’s mission statement, Mannheim 2030.

Under Mayor Kurz’s leadership, Mannheim has become a Local Green Deal (LGD) pilot city. Mannheim’s LGD is not simply the implementation of the European Green Deal. It identifies existing gaps in the city’s work and brings together ideas, projects, and stakeholders from across Mannheim to accelerate the city’s green transformation.

Mayor Kurz is active in a variety of European and international organizations, including UCLG, CEMR, and the European Committee of the Regions. Dr. Kurz was also one of the founding members of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) in 2016. He has served as chair of the organization since 2019. In recognition of his commitment to international cooperation between cities, Mayor Kurz received the 2021 World Mayor International Award from the City Mayors Foundation.


Commissioner of Travis County, Texas, Brigid Shea came to Austin in 1988 to start the Texas chapter of Clean Water Action. Prior to that, she had been an award-winning journalist at NPR stations in Minnesota and Philadelphia. Commissioner Shea served on the Austin city council from 1993 to 1996 and championed consumer, electoral, and environmental reforms.

Commissioner Shea is the co-founder of SOS, Austin’s historic law to save Barton Springs, has been an advisor to LCRA, Seton, the City of Austin, and others, and her work with a client won the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Environmental Excellence Award. She serves on many boards, including the national board of Clean Water Action. She is a 2001 graduate of Leadership Austin and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Clean Energy Council. Shea was elected Travis County Commissioner in 2014. She is a native of North Dakota, has two sons, and is married to John Umphress, Green Building specialist with Austin Energy.


Prof. YUN Sun-Jin is Professor at the Graduate School of Environmental Studies of Seoul National University. In May 2021, she was appointed as the Co-Chairperson of the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Commission of the Republic of Korea. The 2050 Carbon Neutrality Commission of the Republic of Korea was established in May 2021, as the Republic of Korea announced its 2050 Carbon Neutrality goal in late 2020, to propose Korea’s ‘2050 Carbon Neutrality Scenario’ and ‘2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)’, and to collect opinions from diverse parties of interest (e.g. - industries, civil societies, labor, etc.) by providing a forum for discussions periodically. Prof. Yun earned her Ph.D. at University of Delaware, major in Environmental and Energy Policy, and has dedicated most of her career to promoting sustainable development and addressing environmental issues through vigorous research, lecturing, social activities. Before assuming the role of Co-Chairperson of the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Commission, Prof. Yun previously served in various positions at Government’s Committees, including Ex-Chairperson of Sustainable Development Committee.