FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Contact: Alex Barnum
Regions from France, Spain and United Kingdom Join Growing Global Partnership to Fight Climate Change
LYON, France – Three European regions today joined California and a growing list of states and provinces worldwide to sign a first-of-its-kind agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
Leaders of the Rhône-Alpes region in France, Scotland and Spain’s Basque Country signed the “Under 2 MOU,” as the agreement is known, at the World Summit Climate & Territories today in Lyon, France. Officials of the Lombardy region of Italy also announced their intention to sign the agreement. The announcement follows last week’s signing of the MOU by the Mexican state of Chiapas and Cross River State in Nigeria.
To date, 17 states and provinces in nine countries and four continents have signed the Under 2 MOU. Collectively, the signatories represent a population of 123 million and more than $5 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP), constituting what would be the third largest economic entity in the world.
The Under 2 MOU provides a template for the world’s 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.
“Our growing, diverse coalition is proof that a significant group of states and territories from around the globe are ready to support ambitious commitments by their national governments in Paris this December,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “At the same time, it demonstrates that subnationals are not waiting for our national governments to act. The time for aggressive action is now.”
Secretary Rodriquez and Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg in Germany, announced the new signatories today during the opening plenary of the World Summit in Lyon. The summit is the principal gathering of subnational and local governments ahead of the U.N. climate conference.
Jean-Jack Queyranne, President of the Rhône-Alpes Region, host of the World Summit, said: “I am pleased to commit the Rhône-Alpes Region, which leads among Europe’s regions on energy policy, to the achievement of this very ambitious target. Signing the Under 2 MOU in Rhône-Alpes today is all the more appropriate because it’s a clear illustration of what the World Summit Climate & Territories should produce: an unprecedented mobilization of subnational and local actors with strong commitments and proposals.”
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.
In addition to California and Baden-Württemberg, the founding signatories of the Under 2 MOU include: Acre, Brazil; Baja California, Mexico; British Columbia, Canada; Catalonia, Spain; Jalisco, Mexico; Ontario, Canada; and Wales, UK. In the United States, the other founding signatories are Oregon, Vermont and Washington.