The report finds that, in the US, 20 federal states, 110 cities and over 1,400 businesses have adopted quantified emission reduction targets, the most ambitious of which are comparable to countries’ NDCs.
COP 23 President Frank Bainimarama expressed hope that the America’s Pledge model could be replicated elsewhere in the world.
The Phase 2 Report, due to be released in 2018, will aggregate and quantify non-federal commitments, and analyze how these actions affect the US’ ability to reach its emission reduction target under the Paris Agreement.
11 November 2017: On the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched a report titled, ‘America’s Pledge Phase 1 Report: States, Cities, and Businesses in the United States Are Stepping Up on Climate Action.’ The report addresses the scope and scale of non-federal climate action in the US, and indicates that cities, states and businesses representing more than half the US economy and population have declared their support for the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The report finds that, in the US, 20 federal states, 110 cities and over 1,400 businesses, representing US$25 trillion in market capitalization and nearly 1 gigaton (Gt) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year, have adopted quantified emission reduction targets. The most ambitious of these targets, such as those adopted by California, mirror the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of States.
Speaking at the report launch, Michael Bloomberg said that if the participating non-federal actors were a country, their economy would be the third largest in the world.
The report examines current and potential future opportunities for subnational actors to meet the US commitment under the Paris Agreement of reducing emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. It explains that, over the next year, the America’s Pledge initiative will analyze the potential range of incremental, not yet committed, actions by federal states, cities and businesses, and compare them to the US target under the Paris Agreement. The findings will be analyzed in the Phase 2 Report due to be released in 2018.
The report also describes how, inter alia, federal states, cities and businesses are embracing zero-emission vehicles, building efficiency upgrades, renewable energy generation and other low-carbon technologies. It notes that the cost of solar power and vehicle batteries has decreased by about 80% since 2010, and US emissions fell by 11.5%. The report highlights that US economy grew by 15% between 2005 and 2015, reaffirming that decarbonization and gross domestic product (GDP) growth can go hand in hand.
California Governor Jerry Brown, COP 23 Special Advisor for States and Regions, and Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, introduced the report. Bloomberg said that if the participating non-federal actors were a country, their economy would be the third largest in the world. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said that all sectors of society in all countries must be fully on board for the world to meet the climate change challenge, and ensure the transition to a low carbon future. COP 23 President Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, expressed hope that the America’s Pledge model could be replicated elsewhere in the world.
Brown and Bloomberg launched the America’s Pledge initiative in July 2017, following President Trump’s announcement of the US’ intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Through America’s Pledge, cities, states and businesses undertake to measure and report on progress in reducing emissions. [America’s Pledge Phase 1 Report: States, Cities and Businesses in the US Are Stepping Up on Climate Action] [America’s Pledge Press Release on the Launch of the Report] [America’s Pledge Website]