Global Coalition of States and Regions Surpasses Landmark 200 Jurisdictions
Under2 Coalition of sub-national governments announces 16 new signatories at COP23 United Nations Climate Change Conference and reaches over 200 jurisdictions
November 14, 2017
BONN: Today, 16 new jurisdictions have been announced to the Under2 Coalition, the global pact of state and regional governments committing to tackle climate change and help implement the Paris Climate Agreement. The Coalition now encompasses 205 jurisdictions, from across 43 countries and collectively represents 1.3 billion of the world’s population and almost 40% of global GDP (US$30 trillion GDP).
At an event hosted in the German Pavilion at COP23, the Under2 Coalition announced new members: two national endorsers (Armenia and Chile), one state endorser (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and 13 state and regional signatories, including Wallonia (Belgium), Attica (Greece), three Armenian territories (Ararat, Shirak and Kotayk), two Mexican states (Colima and Querétaro), two Ecuadorian provinces (Azuay and Pastaza), two Peruvian regions (Amazonas and Huánuco), Santa Fe (Argentina) and Caquetá (Colombia).
The announcement follows news of the US State of Virginia joining the Coalition at a ceremony last week, and a new report showing how over 100 states and regions are committing to emissions savings that go beyond the climate pledges from their national counterparts; together this highlights the significant pace of action being taken by states and regions in driving the Paris Climate Agreement.
Since its inception in 2015 with 12 founding signatories, the Under2 Coalition has grown significantly each year, reaching 123 signatories at COP21 (2015) and 165 at COP22 (2016). With over 200 jurisdictions on board, the Under2 Coalition is the world’s leading initiative for sub-national climate action.
On reaching over 200 members, Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, Secretariat for the Coalition, said: “The world needs to move faster to meet the demands of the Paris Agreement. So it is significant to see so many states and regions now stepping-up and joining together to create an even greater force for action”
President Winfried Kretschmann, Baden-Württemberg and Europe Co-Chair of the Under2 Coalition, said: “2 degrees: this makes the difference between a climate change, to which we can adapt, and a climate change that will fundamentally alter life on our planet. Mankind simply cannot afford to fail in reaching the goals we have defined for ourselves in the Paris climate accord. It makes me very happy that so many partners worldwide have recognized the need for decisive action.
“More than 200 regions worldwide have joined the alliance initiated jointly by California and Baden-Württemberg in order to give more power and effectiveness to climate protection at a regional level. It is possible to start and implement concrete measures locally in the regions. This is urgently needed, because a progressive climate change would result in dramatic consequences for the habitat of humans, animals and plants. We must change course and turn the tide!”
COP 23 Special Advisor for States Regions California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. said: “The announcement today is that we are over 200 strong and well over a billion people. This is big, but it’s not big enough – we have to have the whole world on board. This is the way the world will deal with this pollution where no one is in charge but everyone is responsible.”
Led by states and regions internationally, the Coalition, for which The Climate Group acts as Secretariat, brings together signatories and endorsers of the Under2 MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). Signatories commit to either reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 80% to 95% below 1990 levels or limit emissions to less than two annual metric tons per capita by 2050.
Vice-Prefect, Maria Cecilia Alvarado Carrión, Azuay, said: “In Azuay we maintain that environmental issues are issues of economic development; development is either sustainable, or it is not.”
Vache Gabrielyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Economic Integration and Reforms, Armenia said: “Armenia is pleased to endorse and express support to sovereign nations and regional governments of the world united by the Under2 Coalition.”
Verónica Geese, Secretary of State for Energy, Santa Fe, said: “Today, the commitment of the subnationals in the fight against climate change is of vital importance. We are closer to its causes, and therefore closer to its effects. That’s why I think that we can be part of the solution, working in a rapid and stable way, together.”
Karen Margaryan, Vice Governor of Kotayk Regional Administration, said: “We truly believe that the challenges of climate change could be effectively addressed by joint efforts of the international community, and by the high sense of responsibility we are able to share due to the unions like the Under2 Coalition. We are deeply honored to accede to Under 2 MOU and making one step forward towards our common goal.”
Seyran Petrosyan, Vice Governor of Shirak Regional Administration, said: “By endorsing the Under2 MOU Shirak Region of the Republic of Armenia is honored to join the great Under2 Coalition family which provides an excellent platform to enhance cooperation between different national and local level governments.”
Óscar Raúl Rojas Peña, Secretary of Planning, Departamento del Caquetá, said: “For Caquetá, it is very important to create strategic alliances to improve the quality of life of our inhabitants, through actions that reduce the impact of climate change in our region and identify opportunities through the Under2 Coalition that allow us to contribute to safety, quality of life and sustainable development of the department.”
Governor Guillermo Antonio Kubes Robalino, Pastaza, said: “We are delighted to sign the Under2 MOU in Bonn on November 14. This is an opportunity to ratify Pastaza’s commitment against climate change and the efforts of global sub-national governments in this fight. 92% of Pastaza’s territory is conserved tropical rainforest, with the largest biodiversity on the planet.”
Governor José Ignacio Peralta Sánchez, Colima, said: “In our state, Colima, we’re pushing efforts for sustainable development. We already have a special subcommittee to track the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda. In our State Development Plan, we contemplate goals that strengthen the care of the environment, also, public policies such as the Law of Sustainable Mobility, directed to integral mobility that is friendly with the natural environment.
“We are on time to neutralize the effects of climate change, but we must act now. The destiny of humankind is at stake.”
Ashot Vardanyan, Vice Governor of Ararat Regional Administration, said: “We are proud to be part of the Under2 Coalition which is a unique opportunity for all of us to tackle one of the most urging issues that the humanity is facing today. Ararat Region of the Republic of Armenia is pleased to collaborate with all members of the Coalition in addressing the challenges of climate change.”