Report: Five years of Under2 Coalition climate leadership

Reading time: 6 minutes
19 May 2020

For five years the Under2 Coalition has been driving climate leadership. Now, as we enter the ‘Climate Decade’, the world’s largest state and regional climate coalition is poised for even more.

From 2005, The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance brought together leaders from around the world to take collective action on climate. Their efforts and achievements paved the way for the Under2 Coalition, which began life as a shared vision between California and Baden-Württemberg to unite those states and regions willing to reduce their emissions and support the global fight against climate change.

Today, the Coalition includes more than 220 governments representing over 1.3 billion people and 43% of the global economy. This includes individual state and regional  signatories to the Under2 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as well as national government endorsers and other supporters. They are supported by The Climate Group, which acts as Secretariat. Its mission is to accelerate climate action by focusing on the greatest global opportunities for change.

Five years of highlights from the Under2 Coalition

  • Growing from 12 to 220 members across the world
  • 15% of member states and regions now have net-zero targets
  • 1.3 billion people represented in our membership
  • Delivering major global projects with states and regions in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America
  • The Coalition has a cumulative emissions reduction potential of 4.6 to 5.0 gigatons CO2e emissions per year by 2030 - around 15% of annual global emissions

What states and regions can do in the Climate Decade

  • Demonstrate global leadership by halving emissions in 10 years
  • Develop long-term pathways to net-zero emissions with interim targets
  • Create and implement climate policies for more resilient and sustainable systems
  • Measure progress through comprehensive disclosure of climate data
  • Push for greater action at a global level

Messages of support from our members

Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy, North Rhine-Westphalia

"Congratulations to all our partners and the secretariat of the Under2 Coalition. After five years, the Coalition has developed into a global force with great support for its members in transitioning into carbon neutral societies. North Rhine-Westphalia particularly benefits from the work of the "Industry Transition Platform". The combination of economic development and climate protection will make a difference – especially now in times of the corona pandemic.“

Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Québec

"Québec is proud of what the Under2 Coalition has accomplished in the last 5 years to accelerate the transition towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. That is why it has been an active member since its creation and strongly supports its efforts to promote international cooperation in order to mobilize stronger and more ambitious climate action." 

Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland and Minister for Trade

"As a member of The Under2 Coalition since 2017, the Queensland Government is supporting the transition to electric vehicles (EV) by delivering Australia’s first electric vehicle policy, and the Queensland Electric Super Highway (QESH) – the world’s longest electric vehicle highway in a single state. The QESH chargers are powered by renewable energy.

"To promote EV uptake, we are leading by example through our commitment to double the number of electric vehicles in the government fleet each year for four years and offsetting carbon pollution by purchasing high-quality carbon credits generated from Aboriginal-run land projects through the CarbonPlus Fund.

"Facilitating an EV transition is just one element of Queensland’s emissions reduction work, which aims for a zero net emissions economy by 2050. The Under2 Coalition is an excellent platform from which Queensland can share its EV successes and learn from other state and regional governments around the world." 

Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor of New York

"As New York battles COVID-19, we continue to build on our vital movement to tackle climate change and ensure that future generations have a safe and healthy planet. There is no time to waste in the fight for our environment - that is why our state has taken bold and decisive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in clean energy, which will also support the rebuilding of our economy when this health crisis ends. 

"New York is a proud member of the Under2 Coalition, which brings together global states and regions with the same ambitious goals for building a collaborative, sustainable future. Together, we will advance the clean energy movement and work to combat climate change for future growth and success."

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