From Bonn: States & Regions Programme garners support for UN recognition of sub-national action

11 June 2009

The Climate Group, in partnership with NRG4SD and several state governments, has submitted language to the UNFCCC that would formally recognize the role of Subnational governments in the Long-Term Cooperative Action Agreement In Bonn this week. These amendments, along with the amendments of local governments, are being tabled by supporting national delegations as they make their way towards an international agreement in Copenhagen.

Recognizing that local and subnational governments are and will continue to be responsible for implementing up to 80% of mitigation and adaptation actions, the initiative in Bonn this week will go a long way to ensuring the road after Copenhagen will be a success.

The language is based on a previous submission tabled in April by the national delegations of Senegal and Uruguay, that was a collaborative effort with NRG4SD, California, Quebec, Catalonia and South Australia. This submission garnered the support of international networks from around the world - including FOGAR, the European Assembly of European Regions, Northern Forum and US State voices, amongst others - with a collective reach of hundreds of states and regions world-wide, as well as from subnational leaders who responded to a call for support from TCG's States & Regions Chair, Premier Mike Rann.


Premier Gary Doer of Manitoba: "The States and Regions Network has played a crucial leadership role in engaging sub-national governments in international efforts to address climate change. Recognition of the role Subnational governments have played and will play in meeting the challenges of climate change will create an important connection between the UNFCCC and real, on-the-ground actions that state and regional governments around the world are taking."

Rt. Hon. Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister of Scotland: "As you know, Scotland is also taking part in international collaboration through our active involvement in The Climate Group's States and Regions Alliance. Scottish Ministers are therefore delighted to support your calls for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to recognise the important commitment and work of state and regional governments on climate change."

Mr Jan Franssen, Queen's Commissioner, Province of South Holland: "We strongly support the States and Regions network's mission to obtain recognition of the role of states and regions in the UNFCCC Long-Term Cooperative Agreement on Climate Change."




Several members of The Climate Group's States & Regions Network joined a side-event in Bonn to profile this initiative and to emphasize the importance - and success - of sub-national action in tackling climate change.

Michele Fournier, representing Quebec, noted that concrete actions at the subnational level are critical to implementing a global deal post-Copenhagen. Between 2003 and 2006, Quebec has reduced its emissions by 5% . The province's climate action plan aims to reduce GHG emissions 6% under 1990 levels by 2012. Moreover, Quebec has joined 11 North American states and provinces aiming to implement a cap-and-trade system by 2012 at the subnational level and Quebec also seeks to expand markets for alternative technologies such as the electric vehicle.

California Secretary for Environmental Protection Linda Adams (by video) outlined California's pioneering policies on cleaner cars, alternative fuels and energy efficiency.

Rainer van Loon, of North-Rhine Westphalia described his region's innovative action on energy efficiency, biomass, alternative energy sources, co-generation plants, and carbon capture and storage.

Luc Bas, The Climate Group's European Director, stressed the importance of securing UNFCCC recognition of sub-national actions and noted that panellists provided concrete examples of what policies will be needed to implement a global deal coming out of Copenhagen later this year.

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