The report titled, ‘Global Climate Action from Cities, Regions and Businesses,’ assesses commitments to reduce GHG emissions from cities, regions and companies in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, South Africa, the US and the EU.
It finds that global emissions in 2030 will be almost one third lower than reductions achieved through national policies alone if international cooperative initiatives grow their membership, achieve their goals and add to existing action.
The publication recommends that the global community address data reporting and consistency, tracking implementation of climate action, and gaps in geographic and sectoral action.
31 August 2018: While actions by cities, subnational states, regions and businesses are accelerating climate action and contributing to the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, more support from national governments and all areas of society is needed to hold the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and to as close as possible to 1.5°C, according to a collaborative report published in advance of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS).
The GCAS, convening in San Francisco, US, from 12-14 September 2018, aims to galvanize new climate action commitments by multiple stakeholders and to demonstrate progress made.
The report titled, ‘Global Climate Action from Cities, Regions and Businesses,’ assesses commitments from cities, regions and companies in high-emitting countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The report covers Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, South Africa, the US and the EU, which collectively were responsible for 68% of global emissions in 2014. It confirms that subnational states and regions are critical for bending down the emission curve by 2020.
The report’s findings include:
- By 2030, global emissions will decrease even more if individual commitments from nearly 6,000 cities, states and regions, and 2,000 companies are fully implemented, compared to what would be achieved through national policies alone;
- In the US, full implementation of reported and quantified commitments by cities, regions and companies could provide at least half of emission reductions required to meet the US commitment under the Paris Agreement; and
- In the EU, commitments by cities, regions and companies could reduce emissions by 230 to 445 MtCO2e per year in 2030, roughly equivalent to Italy’s GHG emissions in 2016, and in China, such actions could reduce emissions by up to 155 MtCO2e annually, which, in both cases, accounts for relatively small additional impact.
The report, which represents the most comprehensive assessment of such commitments to date, also examines the impact of international cooperative initiatives, where regions, states, cities and businesses, frequently in partnership with national governments and civil society, collectively commit to climate goals. It notes that the Under2 Coalition offers the greatest emission reduction potential by 2030. The report finds that global emissions in 2030 will be almost one third lower than reductions achieved through national policies alone if international cooperative initiatives grow their membership, achieve their goals and add to existing action.
In the US, full implementation of reported commitments by cities, regions and companies could provide at least half of emission reductions required to meet the US commitment under the Paris Agreement.
The publication notes that the estimated impact of collective initiatives is greater due to longer-term visions regarding goals, which in some cases involves making assumptions about membership growth. Individual city, region and company targets, according to the report, are more similar to national-level pledges, such as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The report concludes that: international cooperative initiatives’ climate goals illustrate the potential for deeper emission cuts when national governments partner with non-state and subnational actors; their full implementation would narrow or close the gap between the current emissions pathway and reductions needed to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement; and participation and momentum for action by cities, states, regions and businesses, as well as collective initiatives, is diverse and growing.
The report recommends:
- operationalizing the full range of climate commitments and translating them into on-the-ground commitments;
- more ambitious individual commitments to achieve the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals, with climate action also generating significant economic returns and helping to safeguard public health, such as the Science Based Targets initiative;
- collaboration at all levels to realize emission reduction potential, an emphasis on the role of finance to ensure partnerships for sustainable development and collective initiatives are implemented, and supporting and facilitating non-state actor initiatives through top-down policy; and
- addressing data reporting and consistency by the global community, tracking implementation of climate action, and gaps in geographic and sectoral action.
The report was compiled by Data-Driven Yale, the NewClimate Institute and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, in partnership with CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project). [Global Climate Action From Cities, Regions And Businesses] [New Climate Institute Press Release] [UNFCCC Press Release] [The Climate Group Press Release] [GCAS Link To Report Press Release]