Governments representing $7 trillion GDP first in line to submit Compact of States and Regions emissions targets

Author:
Ilario D'Amato
28 May 2015

LONDON: A group of 18 governments from 10 countries that together represent a GDP of US$7 trillion, have publicly submitted their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and inventory data to the pioneering Compact of States and Regions.

The initiative – supported by the UN and in partnership between The Climate Group, CDP, R20 and nrg4SD, with supporting partners Climate-KIC and the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) – is the first-ever global assessment of the GHG reduction contributions being made by state and regional governments around the world.

So far the Compact has received full data on gross GHG emissions from states and regions representing over 200 million people and more than US$7 trillion in GDP.

Spanning four continents, the following 18 governments have submitted their climate data: British Columbia, California, Ontario, Oregon, Quebec, New York and Washington in North America; Jalisco, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Central and South America; Basque CountryCatalonia, Lombardy, Rhone-Alpes, Scotland and Wales in Europe; and Australian Capital Territory and South Australia in Australia.

Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Government of Ontario told The Climate Group: “Ontario is proud to commit to annual public reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and to share our successes, including ending coal, as part of our obligation under the Compact of States and Regions.

"This Compact is just one of the many ways sub-national governments like Ontario are demonstrating much needed leadership in the fight against climate change. We are honored to continue this productive collaboration through our Climate Summit of the Americas in July, and look forward to working with our partners around the world to help ensure a healthier planet now and for future generations.”

Leading states

While the wealth of new data submitted to the Compact of States and Regions shows how sub-national governments are already acting – and are now reaping the many co-benefits of climate action for their local economies and citizens – the Compact aims to ensure such efforts are recognized globally and annually assessed in order to drive progress at all levels of government.

Jean-Charles Seghers, Compact of States and Regions Manager, The Climate Group comments: “By reporting to the Compact of States and Regions, these governments ensure their climate commitments are backed by reliable, publicly available data and demonstrate that they are serious about fighting climate change.

“The Compact of States and Regions is a mechanism for accelerating bottom-up climate action and recognizing the hard work and dedication of state and regional governments. We hope many more governments will chose to lead by example and report their GHG emission targets and GHG inventory data through this mechanism.”

The data submitted will be part of the Non-state Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) platform, a powerful online tool developed by the UN with the governments of France and Peru. The website was relaunched last week to mark the end of the Business & Climate Summit – the cornerstone event of Climate Week Paris, which is convened by The Climate Group.

Through NAZCA, businesses, cities, regions and investors have showcased 2,763 bold climate initiatives to help build momentum toward the UN’s global COP21 climate talks in Paris this December.

The conference will be crucial to shaping countries’ climate actions toward 2020 and beyond, and the data given by the Compact will allow a complete, informed discussion about how to tackle the challenges of climate change.

Sub-national leadership

Two of the governments that have already submitted their data to the Compact of States and Regions are hosting critical climate events in the run up to COP21, which The Climate Group and our members will be involved with.

Climate Summit of the Americas is being hosted in Ontario, Canada, on July 7-9, to bring together Pan-American jurisdictions, indigenous leaders and industry, to work toward commitments to cutting emissions and investing in a global low carbon economy.

The week before, France’s Rhône-Alpes Region is also holding the World Summit Climate & Territories in Lyon on July 1-2, where commitments by non-state actors will be highlighted with a view to improving the COP21 negotiation text and accelerating local climate action.

Read more about the Compact of States and Regions

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