Global climate action from cities, regions and businesses, 2019 report

Although the ambition levels shown by cities, regions and business are high and will go a long way towards meeting the Paris Agreement goals, the bottom-up efforts still need to manifest themselves and can be increased by working more closely together with national governments.

Countries could surpass their emission reduction pledges with help from cities, regions and businesses

The report, authored by experts at the NewClimate Institute, Data-Driven Envirolab and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, in partnership with CDP, focuses on 10 major emitting economies.

  •  Emission reduction commitments from 6,000 cities and regions and 1,500 businesses within these economies could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 to 2 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) per year, by 2030, in addition to the reductions their national governments plan to achieve.
  •  In addition, if 17 high-performing international initiatives would implement their reduction goals while not decreasing any reduction efforts elsewhere, greenhouse gas emissions would decrease by 18 to 21 GtCO2e per year, by 2030, beyond current government efforts. These initiatives are joint projects in which cities, regions, and businesses work together on an international level, sometimes with national governments and international organisations
  • Sub-national and corporate commitments are particularly important in countries such as Brazil and the United States, where national leaders are unravelling climate policies.

The analysis only includes registered, quantified commitments -- a mere fraction of all the climate-related activities by cities, regions, companies and cooperative initiatives around the world. To illustrate this point, only 3 of the 50 identified commitments made by businesses in Kenya are registered in the international databases that were used in this analysis.

However, there is also a risk of the analysed emission reductions not being achieved, if regions, countries, cities and businesses fail to deliver on their promises, or if the efforts by national governments or other actors slow down.


PBL Authors
Mark Roelfsema
Other authors
Takeshi Kuram


Publication title
Global climate action from cities, regions and businesses, 2019 report
Publication date
18 September 2019
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