Background on the Under 2

Executive Summary

The Under 2 MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) originated from a partnership between California and Baden-Württemberg out of the desire to bring together ambitious states and regions willing to make a number of key commitments towards emissions reduction and to help galvanize action at COP (Conference of the Parties) 21. Central to the agreement is that all signatories agree to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95%, or limit to 2 metric tons CO2-equivalent per capita, by 2050.

A total of 136 jurisdictions representing 32 countries and six continents have signed or endorsed the Under 2 MOU. Together, they represent more than 832 million people and $22 trillion in GDP, equivalent to a third of the global economy.

The Under 2…

  • Brings together subnational governments willing to commit to either reducing their greenhouse gas emissions 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 or achieving a per capita emissions target of less than 2 metric tons by 2050;
  • Is in line with scientifically established emissions levels necessary to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius;
  • Offers an opportunity for states, regions, and cities to share ideas and best practices on how to reduce greenhouse gases and promote renewable energy;
  • Provides a model for other subnationals to join;
  • Brings international attention to the actions and ambitious reduction goals of climate leaders at a subnational level around the globe;
  • Demonstrates the collective impact of these actions and commitments across states, regions, cities, and countries; and
  • Highlights the diversity of approaches to reducing emissions.