Massachusetts, Regions in Europe and Latin America Sign Under 2 MOU

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25 January 2016

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today welcomed Massachusetts and regional governments from Colombia – Guainía and Guaviare – and Austria – Lower Austria – as new signatories to the Under 2 MOU climate agreement, the global pact among cities, states and countries to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius.

“The Paris climate agreement was a breakthrough and California was there leading the way. Over 100 states, provinces and regions have now signed on to our Under 2 MOU,” said Governor Brown in his State of the State remarks last week. “The goal is to bring per capita greenhouse gases down to two tons per person. This will take decades and vast innovation.”

Today’s announcement follows a flurry of action at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where 58 jurisdictions were added to the coalition. A total of 127 jurisdictions representing 27 countries and six continents have now signed or endorsed the Under 2 MOU. Together, they represent more than 729 million people and $20.4 trillion in GDP, equivalent to more than a quarter of the global economy.

“Massachusetts is proud to join with other states and regions around the world in endorsing the Under 2 MOU as part of our state’s commitment to addressing climate change and our support of ongoing global efforts to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. “The MOU complements our pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, and will allow us to work with, and learn from, other leaders in combating climate change as we attempt to reduce emissions through the pursuit of a diversified energy portfolio.”

Massachusetts is the 10th American state to sign the Under 2 MOU, joining California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Leaders of the Colombian governments of Guainía and Guaviare also signed the agreement, adding to a growing contingent of signatories from the Amazon basin. In a joint statement, Governor of Guainía Oscar Armando Rodríguez Sánchez and Governor of Guaviare José Octaviano Rivera Moncada noted that due to their location in the Amazon region, the Colombian territories enjoy rich biodiversity and natural resources.

“For this reason, it is of great strategic importance for Guainía and Guaviare to work closely with the State of California and the other signatories of the Under 2 MOU in order to avoid the destruction of our forests and to secure the sustainable development of our regions,” the Governors said. “In this way, we want to make our best effort to contribute towards the global goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.”

Additionally, Lower Austria became the first Austrian state to sign the agreement.

The Under 2 MOU is an agreement to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be catastrophic climate disruptions. Signatories commit to either reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 or achieving a per capita annual emission target of less than 2 metric tons by 2050. These targets allow each individual government to tailor emission reduction plans to fit regional needs.

Originally published by the California Governor’s Office

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