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 subnational 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!"
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 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."
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