Dr Gian Carlo Delgado Ramos – Mexico

Project: Moving forward the interface between policy-making and evidence-based research and knowledge for supporting climate action in cities

As stated in the 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC and the recent IPCC -Cities “Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science, cities are key actors for addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation. Their transformative potential includes climate change goals but also others that have been addressed by international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework or the UN-HABITAT New Urban Agenda. Despite the urgency for action (see SR1.5 – IPCC Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C), only about 60% of countries have incorporated an urban dimension into their national plans. Current commitments by local and regional governments have the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 5 to 15 gigaton by 2030, but the real potential could be greater. A major challenge, however, is the lack of sufficient local capacities, but also accessing to robust data and evidence-based knowledge.

Limited efforts for addressing such challenges have been carried out in Mexico. Yet, there is a lack of clarity on their number, typology, degree of coordination and main findings and outcomes. Such type of analysis is certainly relevant as a starting point to understand the current state, challenges, and barriers for the generation, transfer and use of data and evidence-based knowledge at the local level. With that in mind, this project will carry out a general screening of literature, documents and communications at a national and international level (in order to at least contrast some experiences). It will also carry out interviews to parliamentarians that have been involved in promoting climate change legislation at the Federal level. Finally, it will carry out an empirical and participatory research for the case of Mexico City and its metropolitan area. Interviews and workshops will be set-up with national and subnational legislators (most of them just appointed), academia and other experts (such as those working at the Secretariat of Agrarian, Land and Urban Development – SEDATU and the municipal institutes for planning) in order to identify current necessities and priorities and the best mechanisms to address them. This working methodology has already been used by the one who writes this proposal for the case of The Mexican Talanoa Dialogue report.

The case of Mexico City and its metropolitan area will help to think on how scientific evidence and expertise can serve and support legislators (of different subnational and local governments that may up the metropolitan area) to support effective climate actions in both, the local and the metropolitan levels. Two additional outcomes are thus expected: (1) a practical guideline for supporting a robust science-policy interface for decision making processes at the metropolitan level in Mexico, and (2) at least one parallel legislative training activity on cities and climate change science which will be designed based on the empirical and participatory research previously described.

The relevance for supporting local capacities based on a robust and permanent dialogue between science, policy and practitioners has been described by the Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science. This project aims to move forward such Agenda in Mexico in a way that the experience can be replicated elsewhere.

Project Results:

  • Workshop 1: Towards a coordinated climate & environmental action agenda for Mexico Valley Metropolitan Area – Held on September 10, 2019, the workshop attracted 80 parliamentarians and decision makers from different local governments, in addition to the Program Coordination of Climate Action of SEDEMA, the Directorate of Institutional Coordination and Linking of SEMARNAT, as well as of the parliamentary sphere in charge of the climate-environmental agenda.
  • Interface between policy-making and evidence-based research and knowledge for supporting climate action in cities”. This project, coordinated by Dr. Gian Delgado, seeks to co-generate useful information for decision-making in the Mexico Valley Metropolitan Area. In that sense, one line of action is the evaluation of local institutional capacities for climate and environmental action. The case study covers an area of 7,866 square kilometers, 76 local governments and more than 21 million inhabitants. See the result of the project here.
  • 2-day Virtual Conference: Cities and COVID-19: New directions for urban research and public policies – 29th and 30th April 2020 – Read the dossier of presentations that resulted from the very successful international meeting – Event report and dossier

Project Outputs:

Media Coverage:


Economist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He holds a master’s degree on “Ecological Economics and Environmental Management” and a PhD on “Environmental Sciences”, both form the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

He is a full-time researcher at UNAM’s Interdisciplinary Research Center on Sciences and Humanities. Member of the National System of Researchers, of the National Council on Science and Technology of Mexico. In 2011 he received UNAM’s prize for young academics for his work on social sciences. In 2014 he also received from the National Academy of Sciences (Mexico) the prize on social science research. Since 2017 he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He was a lead-author of Chapter 12, WG3, of the IPCC-5th Assessment Report and currently a reviewer of Chapter 8, WG2, of the IPCC-6th Assessment Report.

Member of the Scientific Steering Committee of IPCC Cities (www.citiesipcc.org) and co-author of the “Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science”. He is the chapter-lead-author of the RIOCCADAPT Report which reviews the adaptation experiences and challenges in the RIOCC region, in this case in “Urban and rural settlements” (www.rioccadapt.org).

He has published 3 dozen of authored, coauthored and coordinated books and about 150 scientific and non-scientific papers and dissemination articles.