FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Contact: Alex Barnum
Italian Regions, New Hampshire Join Global Accord to Limit Climate Change
SACRAMENTO—Two Italian regions and the state of New Hampshire have signed the Under 2 MOU, bringing to 49 the number of cities, states and nations that have joined the agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
Leaders of Lombardy and Sardinia signed the Under 2 MOU at a ceremony Monday at the Milan Expo 2015, where the regional governments of Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Basilicata also announced their intention to sign in coming weeks. In a separate announcement, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan said today that she has signed the agreement, making the Granite State the seventh American state to do so.
“The science is clear that greenhouse gas emissions and other man-made pollutants are the key contributors to climate change, which threatens our environment, our economy and our way of life,” Governor Hassan said. “We know that a healthy environment and economic development go hand-in-hand, and that’s why doing everything that we can to address climate change is an economic imperative for our state.”
The Under 2 MOU, spearheaded by California and the German state of Baden Württemberg, has now been signed or endorsed by 49 jurisdictions representing 19 countries and five continents, collectively representing 499 million people and more than $14.7 trillion in GDP. If the signatories represented a single country, it would be the world’s second largest economy behind only the United States.
“From across the country and around the world, leaders are demonstrating the courage and foresight needed to counter the threat of global climate change,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “California welcomes these new partners to our diverse and growing coalition, and we look forward to continuing our momentum as we approach Paris this December.”
The Under 2 MOU provides a template for nations to follow and encourages greater ambition as countries negotiate an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
Lombardy President Roberto Maroni said: “Lombardy Region has improved its environmental policies starting from the assumption that a sub-national government is able to contribute to fighting climate change, first of all, by recognizing itself as a bearer of a global shared responsibility. Thanks to the worldwide Under 2 MOU partnership led by California and Baden Württemberg, we are committed to highlighting the crucial role of post-carbon regions and cities in COP 21.”
Lombardy, Italy’s most populous and largest industrial region, was the first Italian region to make specific commitments to reduce greenhouse gases and approve a strategy for adapting to climate change.
“We are deeply committed to achieving our ambitious climate goals by 2050 through solid actions that improve energy efficiency, sustainable mobility and our green economy,” said Lombardy Minister for Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development Claudia Terzi. “From the international level to the local one, Lombardy believes climate change must be tackled, together with other regions, through a roadmap for deep de-carbonization by 2050.”
Sardinia, in the Mediterranean Sea, is particularly vulnerable to climate change and is already experiencing the impact of extreme weather events. Sardinia’s government is playing an important role in promoting and developing regional adaptation and mitigation plans consistent with the Italian national adaptation strategy.
“We are proud to sign the Under 2 MOU,” said Donatella Spano, Sardinia Regional Minister for Environment Protection. “The Memorandum represents a powerful tool of aggregation and cooperation that contributes to raising international awareness on the crucial role of sub-national governments in achieving the global targets on climate change and to influence the results of the COP21 in Paris. The Memorandum of Understanding is indeed an extraordinary opportunity to enhance the consensus and reconciliation between different levels of governance required by policies at the national and local level.”
Signatories to the Under 2 MOU 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.