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Global climate action of cities, regions and businesses

Report | 29-08-2018

Action by cities, states, regions and business can go a long way towards meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, but their actions alone are not enough to hold global temperature increase to well-below 2°C and work towards limiting it to 1.5° C.

Cities, states, and businesses can help fill Paris ambition gap, but more action needed

The report, authored by experts at Data-Driven Yale, NewClimate Institute, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, in partnership with CDP focuses on 9 high-emitting countries. It analyses the efforts of more than 6,000 cities, states, and regions representing 7 percent of the global population and more than 2,000 companies with a combined revenue of over $21 trillion USD.

  • By 2030, global greenhouse gas emissions could be 1.5 to 2.2 GtCO2e/year lower if individual commitments from cities, states and regions, and companies are fully implemented, compared to what would be achieved through national policies that are currently underway.
  • In the United States, the full implementation of the reported and quantified individual city, region, and company commitments could provide at least half (between 670 and 810 MtCO2e/year in 2030) of the emissions reductions needed to meet America’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
  • In the European Union, city, region and company commitments could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 230 to 445 MtCO2e/year. In China, these actions could reduce emissions by up to 155 MtCO2e, roughly equivalent to what the country’s industrial processes generated in 2014.

The analysis includes only recorded, quantified commitments -- a fraction of all of cities, regions, companies and cooperative initiatives’ climate activities. However, there’s also a risk that these emission reductions do not materialize, if regions, states, cities and companies don’t deliver on their promises, or if efforts from national governments or other actors slow.

Next to individual commitments, international cooperative initiatives could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by approximately one-third (15-23 GtCO2e/year) compared to national policies alone, if international cooperative initiatives like the Global Covenant of Mayors grow their membership, meet their goals and are in addition to existing action.

Author(s)Angel Hsu; Amy Weinfurter; Andrew Feierman; Yihao Xie; Zhi Yi Yeo; Katharina Lütkehermöller; Takeshi Kuramochi; Swithin Lui; Niklas Höhne; Mark Roelfsema
Report no.3356
Publication date30-08-2018
LanguageEnglish