At COP21, states and regions announce massive emissions reductions — bigger than China’s annual output

It’s not just national governments attending the UN climate change summit in Paris. Many state and regional leaders are present as well, and often push for more radical action than their national counterparts.

[xyz-ihs snippet=”RoadToParis”]

Canada may be one of the most prolific participants in that sense, with prime minister Justin Trudeau bringing representatives of Canadian provinces and territories — as well as national opposition leaders — to COP21, saying “We’re all in this together.”

‘Sub-national’ Canadian governments such as Ontario and Quebec are among the most active participants in a new Climate-KIC supported initiative, the Compact of States and Regions, which also includes European regions such as Scotland and the Valencian Region in Spain — as well as South Australia, where Climate-KIC is working on setting up a South Pacific Climate-KIC partnership.

Launched in September 2014 in New York, with UN backing, the Compact tracks and reports progress by participating governments. It currently has the support of 44 states and regions together representing 325 million people and over US$10.5 trillion in GDP – one eighth of the global economy.

This morning at COP21 (7 December), the initiative unveiled its first disclosure report, announcing targets that will result in cumulative emission reductions of 12.4 gigatonnes of ‘equivalent carbon dioxide’ by 2030 – more than the combined greenhouse gas emissions of the US and EU, and greater than China’s emissions in 2012. It would amount to 47.4 gigatonnes by 2050 – equal to the total world greenhouse gas emissions in 2012.

In addition to these cumulative emissions savings, by 2050 Compact governments from both developed and developing nations will have reduced their collective emissions by almost 55% in absolute terms. The report also revealed both near and long term goals, with almost half of reporting governments having already set 2050 goals. A majority of these aim for reductions of more than 70% below base-year emissions.

A transparent, global reporting mechanism

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon being presented with an advance copy of the Compact of States and Regions ‘Disclosure Report’ by Premier Jay Weatherill of South Australia, at COP21 in Paris.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon being presented with an advance copy of the Compact of States and Regions ‘Disclosure Report’ by Premier Jay Weatherill of South Australia, at COP21 in Paris.

The Compact was launched at last year’s 2014 Climate Summit hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide a transparent, global reporting mechanism to encourage ambition and hold sub-national governments to account.

Speaking on the report at COP21, the Secretary-General said: “The actions of state and regional governments are essential for achieving the new 2030 sustainable development agenda. They are close to their citizens and are uniquely placed to work with national and local governments to amplify the efforts that are needed to reduce emissions and build climate resilience.”

Speaking alongside the Secretary-General in Paris, Premier Jay Weatherill of South Australia said: “Leadership from state and regional governments is needed now more than ever. We know the national climate plans submitted ahead of the Paris talks – the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – are not sufficient to limit global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius. But states, provinces and regions can support this global effort by raising our own levels of ambition.”

“We have already been at the forefront of climate leadership for many years, setting ambitious climate and clean energy targets, and developing new and innovative policy responses. If we are already having this impact with 44 reporting governments, imagine what we can do with more,” she said.

 

Infograph

info

Partnership with the Compact of Mayors

The Compact commitments are also included in the Non-state Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) platform, the online tool developed by the United Nations with the governments of France and Peru for COP21. Through NAZCA, businesses, cities, regions and investors have already showcased over 10,000 climate initiatives.

In January, the Compact of States and Regions will also formally start a partnership with the Compact of Mayors – a similar initiative working with mayors and city officials. The partnership, announced at this year’s Climate Week NYC, will further incentivize cities, states and regions to continue their commitment to ambitious climate targets, transparency and progress.

The figures in today’s announcement are based on climate data reported by 44 sub-national governments across 18 countries and 6 continents. For a full list of governments who have submitted data, and to see our visual explaining the results, click here.

As a critical part of the post-Paris agenda of action by Non-State Actors, all state and regional governments are invited to join the Compact and begin reporting in 2016.

The Compact of States and Regions is a partnership between The Climate Group, CDP, R20 and nrg4SD, supported by the UN, Climate-KIC, Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE), ICLEI and ENCORE.

 
News you may be interested in
news
New project aims to mobilise Europe on ‘drawdown...

EIT Climate-KIC, together with the German Energy Agency (DENA)...

New project aims to mobilise Europe on ‘drawdown’
news
Mainstream climate change into post-2020 funding f...

EIT Climate-KIC is calling on the European Commission to...

Mainstream climate change into post-2020 funding framework, Climate-KIC urges European Commission
news
New European research-backed programme aims to inc...

EIT Climate-KIC is to launch an ambitious forestry innovation...

New European research-backed programme aims to increase sustainable forestry
news
EIT Climate-KIC aims for truly pan-European reach

Europe’s leading public-private innovation initiative focused on climate change...

EIT Climate-KIC aims for truly pan-European reach
news
EIT Climate-KIC CEO urges mayors to consider their...

Cities must consider the infrastructure and environmental legacy that...

EIT Climate-KIC CEO urges mayors to consider their role in boosting climate innovation
news
Solar start-up praises EIT Climate-KIC’s assista...

EU-backed start-up incubation programmes such as EIT Climate-KIC’s Accelerator...

Solar start-up praises EIT Climate-KIC’s assistance on clean energy live stream
news
European Commission report on Sustainable Finance ...

The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Sustainable Finance...

European Commission report on Sustainable Finance affirms its commitment to climate action
news
EIT Climate-KIC innovators featured in Forbes 30 u...

Six EIT Climate-KIC innovators have been honoured in this...

EIT Climate-KIC innovators featured in Forbes 30 under 30 Europe List
news
New EIT urban mobility and manufacturing innovatio...

The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), the...

New EIT urban mobility and manufacturing innovation communities launched
news
European innovation body offers support to Portugu...

EIT Climate-KIC is calling on leading business, educational and research...

European innovation body offers support to Portuguese and Lithuanian regions
news
Europe’s first open innovation platform for clim...

A new EIT Climate-KIC supported capacity-building tool for climate-smart...

Europe’s first open innovation platform for climate-smart agriculture launched
news
New study finds Climate-KIC and wider EIT Communit...

A new study has found that EIT’s Knowledge and...

New study finds Climate-KIC and wider EIT Community delivering significant impact for Europe
news
Climate-KIC start-up SOLHO one of Europe’s Top 5...

Climate-KIC start-up SOLHO was one of four winners honoured...

Climate-KIC start-up SOLHO one of Europe’s Top 50 innovators
news
Innovative solutions sought for urban challenges

Climate-KIC’s Urban Challenges programme is seeking to support start-ups...

Innovative solutions sought for urban challenges
news
Climate-KIC supported start-up ZOLAR completes €...

• Sunstone Capital, Statkraft Ventures, Partech Ventures and Tim...

Climate-KIC supported start-up ZOLAR completes €4m financing round
news
Women entrepreneurs talk climate business in Bonn

What characteristics do people think of when they hear...

Women entrepreneurs talk climate business in Bonn
news
Climate-KIC kicks off innovation initiative for ci...

Comprehensive plan launched to support urban agglomerations as test...

Climate-KIC kicks off innovation initiative for cities
news
Climathon rallies an international city movement t...

More than 100 global cities gather for world’s largest...

Climathon rallies an international city movement to tackle climate change
news
EU earth observation programme Copernicus opens it...

Participants in cities joining Climathon 2017 – the world...

EU earth observation programme Copernicus opens its database to world’s largest climate action hackathon
news
Climate-KIC Nordic wins Open Innovation tender

Climate-KIC Nordic will take the lead in a major...

Climate-KIC Nordic wins Open Innovation tender
news
EIT Climate-KIC innovators win at INNOVEIT 2017

Europe’s most ground-breaking entrepreneurs and innovators were honoured last...

EIT Climate-KIC innovators win at INNOVEIT 2017
news
The City of Malmö encourages school children to c...

For the progressive city of Malmö, hosting a regular...

The City of Malmö encourages school children to create climate action in this year’s Climathon