FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Contact: Alex Barnum
California Welcomes German, Dutch Regions to Growing Coalition to Limit Climate Change
SACRAMENTO—Two of Europe’s leading economic regions are the latest to join a growing list of cities, states and nations to sign the Under 2 MOU, a global agreement to limit the increase in global average temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius.
Leaders of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous and largest industrial state, and the Dutch province of North Brabant, the Netherlands’ leading high-tech region, signed the Under 2 MOU in separate ceremonies this week in California and Germany. The signings follow last week’s announcement that the agreement was signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“Although we are all going to have to work hard on this transition, the results are bound to be impressive,” said North Brabant Vice-Governor Anne-Marie Spierings. “It will not only create a sustainable climate, but also lead to healthier cities, innovative power and jobs. The cooperation between leading regions worldwide will certainly help to accelerate innovation.”
The Under 2 MOU, spearheaded by California and the German state of Baden Württemberg, has now been signed or endorsed by 45 jurisdictions representing 19 countries and five continents, collectively representing 492 million people and more than $14.3 trillion in GDP. If the signatories represented a single country, it would be the world’s second largest economy behind only the United States.
The Under 2 MOU provides a template for nations to follow as work continues toward an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. The agreement was first announced in May at a Sacramento event hosted by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
“California welcomes these new partners to our diverse and growing coalition,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “The addition of North Rhine Westphalia and North Brabant demonstrates that leading economic regions around the world share our commitment to an ambitious climate agreement in Paris.”
Under the agreement, signatories commit to either reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 or achieve a per capita annual emission target of less than 2 metric tons by 2050. These targets allow each individual government to tailor emission reduction plans to fit regional needs.
The pact seeks to enhance cooperation to achieve these goals through a range of activities, including:
- Developing mid-term targets needed to support long-term reduction goals;
- Sharing technology, scientific research and best practices to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy;
- Collaborating to expand the use of zero-emission vehicles;
- Taking steps to ensure consistent monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions;
- Improving air quality by reducing short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon and methane; and
- Assessing the projected impacts of climate change on communities.