Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Under2 MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) entail?
The Under2 MOU is a climate agreement that brings together subnational governments willing to make a number of key commitments, including either reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels or to less than 2 annual metric tons per capita by 2050. Signatories also commit to establishing midterm targets needed to support long-term reduction goals; sharing technology, scientific research, and best practices to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy; coordinating on a number of issues from transportation to short-lived climate pollutants; working towards consistent monitoring, reporting, and verification of their emissions; and assessing the projected impacts of climate change on communities. We proudly provide the Under2 MOU text in multiple languages.
What is the difference between the “Under2 MOU” and the “Under2 Coalition”?
In the beginning, this initiative was called the Under2 MOU, but it is now known as the Under2 Coalition. When referring to the climate agreement text, we say “Under2 MOU”. However, when referring to the ambitious group of governments that are signatories or endorsers, we say “Under2 Coalition”.
Why is it called the “Under2 MOU” or “Under2 Coalition”?
The reason for calling it “Under2″ is two-fold. “Under2” refers to the MOU’s goal of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, which Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists say is needed to avert catastrophic climate change impacts, as well as to the goal of limiting greenhouse gas emissions to below 2 annual metric tons per capita by 2050.
What is is the difference between a signatory and an endorser?
Signatories are geared toward subnational governments (including states, regions, and cities), whereas endorsers are typically for national governments. Signatories commit to the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels, or to less than 2 metric tons per capita, by 2050. Endorsing nations do not necessarily commit to the 2050 target, but may indicate a range of support. For instance, encouraging subnationals within their boundaries to sign the Under2 MOU, supporting subnational jurisdictions within its boundaries in reaching emissions targets, or providing funding, expertise, or other resources. Signatories of the Under2 MOU are required to submit appendixes, meanwhile endorsers are not. For more information about the criteria for signatories and endorsers, please visit here.
What is an appendix?
An appendix is a plan that a government sets forth to highlight current or future actions and commitments to achieve emissions reduction targets through 2030. Appendices illustrate the breadth and diversity of approaches in mitigation and cover a range of topics, such as renewable energy, sustainable transportation, natural resource protection, and adaptation. Click to learn more about what is covered in an appendix, please click here. To view or download government appendices publicly available on our website, please click here. Appendixes may be written in the jurisdiction’s native language.
How can I see which jurisdictions from my country have joined the Under2 Coalition?
We welcome you to visit the full list of subnational signatories and national endorsers on the Under2 Coalition page here. On this page, you can view a map of all the signatories and endorsers of the Under2 Coalition. You can also see a drop down menu of participating jurisdictions categorized by continent and from all levels government: national, regional, state, and city.
How do I sign up or encourage my jurisdiction to join the Under2 Coalition?
We would like to hear from from subnational governments or national endorsing partners who are interested in joining the Under2 Coalition. Subnational governments will be required to submit a signature page and an appendix that outlines their plans to reach emissions reduction targets. National endorsing partners will be required to submit a signature page or letter expressing intent to sign the Under2 MOU. For more detail about the procedure for joining the Under2 Coalition, please click here and contact the Under2 Project Coordinator, Taryn Akiyama, by email at Taryn.Akiyama@opr.ca.gov or phone at +1(916)324-9966.
Where and when have Under2 Coalition members been able to convene?
The Under2 Coalition primarily focuses on subnational governments, which span six continents, over thirty countries, and multiple languages. We have been able to convene Under2 Coalition members at events around the world, most notably the United Nations Climate Conferences known as the Conference of the Parties (COP), held 2015 in Paris and 2016 in Marrakech. Subnational governments, especially those in the Under2 Coalition, have increasingly become key players and voices in the climate arena. To find out more, please visit the events and news pages.
What are Under2 Coalition governments working on?
The Under2 Coalition’s initiatives are delivered through three, inter-connected work streams, which seek to accelerate and scale climate action by state and regional and other subnational governments:
- Deep decarbonization pathway planning: supporting governments develop robust medium and long-term (2050) emissions reduction plans in line with the Paris Climate Agreement goal of keeping the rise in global temperature well below 2oC of warming.
- Scaling innovative policy solutions: replicating and spreading today’s best policies to accelerate climate action, and developing new policies to ensure full decarbonization over the longer-term.
- Mainstreaming transparency and reporting: supporting governments so they have the expertise and systems in place to assess their emissions accurately, track progress and ensure policies remain fit for delivering against decarbonization targets.
Why do subnationals matter?
According to the United Nations Development Programme, 50 to 80 percent of the mitigation and adaptation actions necessary to tackle climate change will be implemented at the subnational or local levels of governance. Subnational governments are particularly well placed to address climate change for a number of reasons, including:
- They are often responsible for the development and implementation of policies that have the most impact on climate change, including in the areas of air quality; transportation; energy and energy efficiency; the built environment; natural lands; technology innovation, development, and transfer; and others that have direct implications for greenhouse gas emissions levels;
- Subnational governments often serve as the laboratories for policy innovations which are then adopted at the national and even international level; and
- Subnational governments provide the critical link in the vertical integration of climate policies between national and local governments.
How did the Under2 MOU originate?
The Under2 MOU originated from a partnership between California and Baden-Württemberg with the aim of bringing together ambitious states and regions willing to make a number of key commitments toward emissions reductions. On May 2019, 2015, California and Baden-Württemberg, along with 10 other signatories, founded the Under2 Coalition. Click here to view the press release. The Under2 Coalition helped to galvanize action ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21) on December 2015.
What can I do to get involved with the Under2 Coalition?
- Spread awareness. The Under2 Coalition is spearheaded by and targeted for subnational governments (states, regions, cities) that are demonstrating bold action on climate. These ambitious subnational governments will continue to lead on climate and drive federal and international change. Please share the Under2 Coalition Two Pager and use the hashtag #Under2Coalition on social media. Please learn about the Under2 Coalition’s work streams and read appendices to see how governments plan to achieve emissions reductions.
- Stay connected. Please regularly check this Under2 website for the most updated information, including the latest statistics, news, and events. Please follow and write posts about the Under2 Coalition on social media and use the hashtag #Under2Coalition. Please follow and share posts about the Under2 Coalition by @ClimateGroup and @GovPressOffice.
- Join the Coalition. Please encourage subnational governments to join the Under2 Coalition if they have not already done so. Please see if your government has joined here and find more information on how governments can join as subnational signatories or national endorsers here. Please find the Under2 MOU text translated into multiple languages.