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 12 languages here.
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 actual text of the document that stipulates the climate agreement, 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, and 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?
Typically, signatories are geared toward subnational governments (including regional, state, and city), whereas endorsers are 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 commit to the 2050 target, but may indicate a range of support. For instance, encouraging subnationals to sign the Under2 MOU, supporting subnational jurisdictions within its boundaries in reaching emissions targets, and/or limiting national greenhouse gas emissions. Signatories of the Under2 MOU must submit appendixes, meanwhile endorsers do not.
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, and natural resource protection. 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?
Currently, the Under2 Coalition consists of 170 jurisdictions spanning 33 countries on six continents. We welcome you to visit them on the Under2 Coalition page here. On this page, you can view a map of all the signatories and endorsers of the Under2 MOU. 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 welcome any ambitious subnational government or national endorsing partner who wants to combat climate change to join the Under2 Coalition at any time. 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 or 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. Regardless, we have been able to convene many of our 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 news section of our website here or the events section of our website here.
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.
How is the Under2 related to other initiatives, such as the Compact of States and Regions?
The Compact of States and Regions provides a mechanism for the Under2 Coalition to measure and report progress against their emissions reductions in line with the signatories’ commitment to limit their greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 percent, or 2 annual metric tons of CO2 equivalent per capita, by 2050. To date, 37 Under2 Coalition governments have already agreed to voluntarily disclose their mitigation efforts through the Compact of States and Regions. This data will help to identify opportunities for peer learning between governments, and will help to advance emissions management and climate governance on the basis of sound data. Click this link to find out more.
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 what Under2 signatories are doing to achieve emissions reductions by reading their appendices here.
- 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 12 languages here.