States, regions and companies are charging ahead to Paris

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12 June 2015

LONDON: Cities, regions, companies and NGOs can help the world save 1.8 gigatons of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e) in 2020, a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) study has found.

The report Climate Commitments of Subnational Actors and Business analyzed 180 initiatives from more than 20,000 participants, related to renewables, energy efficiency, transport and agriculture.

According to the authors, forward-thinking corporations in particular could save 630 million tons of CO2e in 2020 thanks to initiatives like RE100, a project led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP that supports influential companies committed to 100% renewable power.

“The inclusion of the RE100 initiative in such a high-level report is further recognition of the importance of a coordinated business effort to grasp the economic benefits of tackling climate change,” remarks Emily Farnworth, Campaign Director of RE100 at The Climate Group.

“Companies know green business is good business, and we have seen signs of this growth for years. Securing clean, cheap energy is a win-win for companies and for society. This report clearly shows the magnitude of the actions that can be conducted by businesses around the world”.

On average, the emission reduction impact of business initiatives covered by the UN report is 0.63 GtCO2e by 2020, with an average commitment to reduce business-as-usual emissions by 22.6% by 2020.

ROLE OF REGIONS

Sub-national governments are another fundamental actor in the fight against climate change, the study shows. The Climate Group States & Regions program and Compact of States and Regions are two of the initiatives highlighted in the report as pivotal in understanding and quantifying the role of these powerful governments in delivering a healthier world for their citizens.

“States and regions are fundamental to show that even if climate change is a global problem, it can be effectively tackled on a regional scale,” underlines Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director, The Climate Group.

“Our network of 30 members constantly show the successes and co-benefits for citizens of tackling climate change, which in turn gives confidence to their respective national governments to raise their levels of ambition”.

The Climate Group States & Regions Alliance achieves in total 0.8 GtCO2e per year of additional emission reductions in 2020.

The Compact of States and Regions, the world’s first standardized reporting platform for states and regions, is a fundamental tool to assess and showcase the many, bold climate initiatives taken around the world by sub-national governments,” adds Jean-Charles Seghers, Compact of States and Regions Manager, The Climate Group

“The purpose of this new report is completely in line with the Compact’s aim to provide clear, reliable data to assess the great contribution given by non-state actors in tackling climate change. To complement this report, we will provide an updated picture of the overall contribution being made by state and regional governments around the world by COP21. To date, the Compact has already attracted double the number of governments than was the case at the time of writing the UNEP report.”

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