Sub-national governments representing collective GDP of over $4 trillion sign bold climate agreement

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19 May 2015

NEW YORK: Forward-thinking sub-national governments have just signed an agreement to commit to either reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 80 and 95% below 1990 levels by 2050, or achieving a per capita emissions target of less than 2 metric tons by the same date.

Driven by The Climate Group States & Regions Alliance members Baden-Württemberg, and California, signatories include CataloniaOntario and Wales.

The important Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), formally the Subnational Global Climate Leadership MOU, is called “Under2MOU” to underline the will of signatories to reduce emissions to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, the threshold to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change.

Speaking at the MOU reception during Climate Week Paris Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said: “This global group of state and regional governments are not only signalling their commitment to act in line with climate science, but by putting the timetables and policies in place, they are also ensuring that these long term targets are achieved.

"The Climate Group is proud to be working with this leadership group, through our States & Regions Alliance, to replicate best practice, measure impact and support governments to share solutions in addressing both the challenges and opportunities of climate change.”

Measurable progresses

The MOU also includes a commitment to report progress through initiatives such as the Compact of States and Regions, the first ever single, global account of GHG reduction targets made by state and regional governments convened by The Climate Group.

“The Climate Group will continue to support these states and regions and their global peers,” says Libby FergusonStates & Regions DirectorThe Climate Group, “to achieve their climate targets through the Compact of States and Regions and our Policy Innovation work.”

The agreement spans over three continents and seven countries with a total population of around 100 million residents and a collective GDP of over US$4 trillion – representing the fourth largest economic entity in the world. This initiative shows once again the fundamental role of sub-national governments in shaping the public agenda around the low carbon economy, taking effective actions even when their national counterparts lack bold initiatives.

The Memorandum builds on the global momentum toward COP21, and is open until December to gather other signatories committed to pave the way for the low carbon economy, sustaining economic growth and protecting their citizens’ health.

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Climate Week Paris, which is convened by The Climate Group, takes place from May 18-24, 2015. See the full calendar of events including further Twitter Q&As, by visiting ClimateWeekParis.org

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