Twelve international states and provinces yesterday signed a first-of-its-kind climate agreement to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius.
The dozen-state agreement, called 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 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.
The 12 founding signatories — collectively representing more than $4.5 trillion in GDP and 100 million people — span seven countries and include: California, USA; Acre, Brazil; Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Baja California, Mexico; Catalonia, Spain; Jalisco, Mexico; and Ontario, Canada, who participated in today’s signing ceremony in Sacramento, California, as well as; British Columbia, Canada; Oregon, USA; Vermont, USA; Washington, USA; and Wales, UK.
Under the agreement, the signatories 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 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.
The agreement’s signatories have also committed to recruiting additional global partners ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this December.