Combined GDP of governments signed up to Under2MOU surpasses US GDP

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18 November 2015

NEW YORK: Governor Brown of California announced this week that the combined GDP of governments, states and regions signed up to the Under 2 MOU agreement surpassed the GDP of the United States, the largest economy in the world.

Under 2 MOU – driven by The Climate Group States & Regions Alliance members of California and Baden-Württemberg – aims to unite state and regional governments in reducing their emissions by 80-95% based on a 1990 baseline, or achieving a per capita emissions target of less than 2 metric tons by 2050.

Additional signatories from the Federal Republic of Germany, Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia and the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, were announced at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 6th Annual Clock in Chicago, where climate change was discussed as an “extraordinary and undeniable threat” to humanity as nuclear weaponry is.

During the event, Governor Brown of California explained that by uniting ambitious climate policies, “we can overcome the sheer complacency that threatens the well-being of humanity itself”

By reaching the economic scale that the Under 2 MOU collaboration has though its signatories, it is possible to have a huge impact in tackling global emissions – a collaborative effort that could inspire world leaders arriving at the UNFCCC’s COP21 climate talks in Paris later this month.

Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director at The Climate Group comments: ‘”By reaching this milestone, the Under 2 MOU proves how influential sub-national governments can be in the global fight against climate change. With so many large jurisdictions involved, this announcement from Governor Brown shows the world is ready for change – just in time for the global negotiations in Paris.”

Complementary to the Compact of States and Regions, the Under 2 MOU initiative is formed of 57 jurisdictions from 19 countries and 5 continents, which represent US$17.5 trillion GDP and over 57.2 million people worldwide.

Launched last year by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, R20 and nrg4SD, the Compact of States and Regions provides the first ever single, global account of greenhouse gas reduction targets made by state and regional governments.

Preliminary emissions reduction targets and inventory data from sub-national governments was announced in July and includes total emissions cuts by 7.9 GtCO2e by 2030, which is greater than 2012 emissions of the US - the world’s second-largest emitter.

The first Compact of States and Regions disclosure report will be released ahead of Paris later this month.

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By Gabriella Romano

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