Biggest ever gathering of global states and regions on climate action

12 September 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - Today the Under2 Coalition General Assembly will take place in San Francisco, California – marking the biggest ever meeting of subnational governments on climate change.

With 73 governments in attendance, governors, premiers and ministers will meet to agree collective climate action for the next 12 months in a UN style conference for state and regional governments.

Sixteen new jurisdictions will join the coalition today by signing an agreement to limit emissions to under 2 tonnes per capita to keep global temperature rises to under 2°C, in line with climate science.

Governor Brown at Under2 Coalition Signing Ceremony
Governor Brown at Under2 Coalition Signing Ceremony

Today’s new signatories and endorsers include Chungnam, South Korea; North Kalimantan, Indonesia; West Bengal, India; Akershus, Norway; Madre de Dios, Peru; Nariño, Colombia; Oaxaca, Mexico; Sonora, Mexico; Tucumán, Argentina; Baja California Sur, Mexico; Piura, Peru; Broward County, United States; Hawaii, United States; Papua Indonesia, Japan, Association of Cities of County Rank, Hungary.

With the endorsement of Japan, which has recently experienced a summer of climate related stress including the worst typhoon in 25 years, the coalition now includes 222 governments – representing over 43% of the global economy $34 trillion in GDP and 1.3 billion people.

Earlier this month the Under2 Coalition was recognized as the international cooperative initiative with highest potential for emissions reduction[1]. Through the Under2 Coalition, signatories have collectively committed to remove between 4.9-5.2 Gigatons of C02 equivalent emissions per year by 2030 – which is more than current annual emissions of the European Union.

Tim Ash Vie, Under2 Coalition Director, The Climate Group, said: “Global states and regions are stepping up their action and commitments at this week’s Summit. It is fitting that the largest global gathering of states and regions on climate is happening in California. These governments are increasingly going to be at the forefront of achieving the Paris agreement over the next three decades.”                                                                                                                                             

Under2 Coalition General Assembly 2018
Under2 Coalition General Assembly 2018

California, along with Baden Württemberg was one of the founding states of the Under2 Coalition in 2015, spearheading a new level of global cooperation between states and regions on climate change and providing inspiring leadership.

Current Co-chair Governor Jerry Brown of California will pass the baton to Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington state. The following leaders will also take on Co-chair positions to lead the Under2 Coalition over the next two years: Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Willies Mchunu, Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann of Baden-Württemberg and Governor Roberto Miguel Lifschitz of Santa Fe.

“This gathering of regional leaders and the addition of even more members to the Under2 Coalition shows a vibrant and growing global commitment,” said Governor Brown. “We’re not slowing down.”

In addition to today’s new signatories to the coalition, further funding for the coalition has been announced today. Norway’s International Climate and Forests Initiative (NICFI) has granted The Climate Group 49.7m Norwegian Krone ($5.9m USD). This will support governments in emerging economy regions to track emissions and plan pathways to achieve their climate goals. The aim is also to inspire similar action from other Under2 Coalition jurisdictions.

Ola Elvestuen, Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment, said: “There is no viable solution to climate change without improving the way we use forests, food and land. I am very pleased that Norway is teaming up with a very competent and ambitious partner – to work together on enhancing the way we understand, measure and act on our forest, food and land challenges.”

With this support, and a recent announcement of German government backing for emissions accounting, the Under2 Coalition is ramping up the level of international state to state cooperation and support.


[1] Data Driven Yale, NewClimate Institute, PBL 2018: Global climate action of regions, states and businesses

Governor Brown speaking at Under2 Coalition General Assembly 2018

Governor Brown speaking at Under2 General Assembly

Japan

Foreign Minister Taro Kono, said: “On September 12, the Government of Japan decided to endorse the goals of the Under2 Coalition. The Government of Japan, as a state party to Paris Agreement, welcomes the recent activities of the Under2 Coalition. The Government also hopes that non-state actors, including municipalities joining Under 2 Coalition, take climate action more actively and will contribute to the creation of higher momentum of the international society in addressing climate change. As stipulated in the Paris Agreement, the involvement of various non-state actors such as the private sector, local governments and civil society are essential. The Government of Japan will further enhance its cooperation with non-state actors in steadily implementing the Paris Agreement and promote climate diplomacy.”

Hawaii

Governor Ige, said: “Hawaii is already experiencing the negative impacts of climate change, and we are mounting a whole-community response to help keep the global temperature rise below 2°C. I’m proud to join this coalition of leaders from around the world who are committed to the same goal.

West Bengal, India

Mr. Indevar Pandey, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment Department said: “West Bengal endorses the view of Under2 Coalition because this type of collective effort shall create the desired momentum across the globe for improvement of energy efficiency, exploring new technologies and avenues to combat climate change.”  

Chungnam, South Korea

Nam-gung Yeong, Deputy Governor for Administrative Affairs of Chungnam Province said: “By joining the Under 2 Coalition, Chungnam Province have expressed our will to participate in the international efforts to keep the rise of Earth’s temperature to under 2°C.”

He added, “It’s the first movement from Korea to joining Under 2 Coalition. Chungnam Province will take preemptive measures, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and replacing coal with clean, renewable energy. Please look forward to our province’s efforts to stop climate change and curb its consequences.”

Oaxaca, Mexico

José Luis Calvo Ziga, Secretario del Medio Ambiente, Energías y Desarrollo Sustentable. “The State of Oaxaca is pleased to join the Under2 Coalition, through the work of the Secretariat of Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development, and to have the opportunity to participate in the Under2 Coalition General Assembly in San Francisco.

Our participation in the Coalition will help strengthen the State’s current public policy and strategies to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, so that Oaxaca will be at the forefront of reducing per capita emissions through 2050.

We appreciate the invitation and the support of the Under2 Coalition for Oaxaca to be part of this effort to mitigate climate change. Without a doubt, this will make Oaxaca more resilient to the effects of climate change and will ensure the conservation of our natural resources, our infrastructure, our cultural heritage and our societal welfare, with an emphasis on intergenerational and gender equity.”

Akershus, Norway 

Mayor Solli “Akershus County is proud to join the Under2 Coalition and be part of a global network committed to keeping global temperature rises to under 2°C. We believe that by working together across borders we will be able to solve local, regional and global climate challenges. The coalition will support us to take regional climate cooperation to the next level and help us create better solutions by learning from our peers.”

Tucumán, Argentina 

“Tucumán is proud to be the second Argentinian province to sign the Under2 Memorandum of Understanding during a meeting with the Governor of California in Sacramento. Tucumán Province is fully aware of the importance and relevance of the Under2 MOU, and will encourage peer subnational governments to sign, and I will personally urge them to implement it to achieve our common goals.” 

Broward County, USA 

“As a progressive leader, Broward County is pleased to join the growing list of ambitious governments worldwide committed to combating climate change. In signing the Under2 Memorandum of Understanding, we acknowledge that the challenges of climate change are also opportunities to create jobs, grow our clean energy sector, and model climate adaptation, preparedness, and resilience for the rest of the world.”  Broward County Mayor Beam Furr 

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