A new digital brochure from The Climate Group shows the crucial role state and regional governments played in shaping the historic Paris Agreement that was announced last December, and the ten-year pathway that has put them at the forefront of global climate action.
The 35 sub-national governments that make up the States & Regions Alliance – accounting for 354 million people, 12% of global GDP and 2.9 Gigatons (Gt) CO2 emissions – clearly demonstrate how states, regions and provinces are setting bold climate targets and innovative policies around the world.
For example, the Australian Capital Territory is leveraging a reverse auction process to award large-scale feed-in tariffs, with all of its electricity set to be generated from renewables by 2025.
Similarly, Scotland in the UK is aiming for a 100% equivalent of gross electricity demand from renewables by 2020.
Many states and regions from developed and developing countries alike have signed up to ambitious targets such as the Under 2 MOU – of which The Climate Group acts as Secretariat – committing governments to reduce their emissions by 80-95% based on a 1990 baseline, or to achieve a per capita emissions target of less than 2 metric tons by 2050.
And to increase climate data transparency and accountability, leading sub-national governments are also reporting to The Climate Group’s Compact of States and Regions, which currently represent 2.81 Gt CO2e in annual emissions.
Through their reported greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitments, these governments will save 47.4 GtCO2e by 2050 relative to ‘business as usual’ – this figure is equal to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2012.
A PIONEERING ROLE
However, too often sub-national governments are the ‘unsung climate heroes’. So our new digital brochure showcases how States & Regions members have pioneered innovative policies and adopted ambitious climate and clean energy targets.
Crucially, states and regions have supported national government to move forward in climate policies by incentivizing low carbon efforts from the business community. The initiatives highlighted in the brochure show how bold climate action is an essential, affordable and inevitable path to a more prosperous economy – and a healthier, more inclusive society.
In fact, states and regions benefit from working at a level and scale of policy implementation that allows for quicker action and greater experimentation. They are also directly affected by the consequences of climate change – such as rising sea levels, ravaging storms and increased temperatures.
For these governments, action on climate change means protecting communities, supporting businesses and creating jobs.
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Climate Week NYC is a cornerstone event in the international calendar that brings together influential global figures and new voices from the worlds of business, government and investors to lead the transition toward net zero emissions. The Climate Group launched Climate Week NYC in 2009, and has since acted as the secretariat. Host to more than 70 affiliate events across the city, this year Climate Week NYC will also act as the collaborative space for climate events in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.