Global climate action from cities, regions and businesses is a new report compiled by Data-Driven Yale, New Climate Institute, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, in partnership with Carbon Disclosure Project. It aims to capture the scope and impact of climate action from cities, regions, and companies, utilizing climate mitigation commitments made by the respective actors and to assess the opportunity for even greater impact.
The report provides an overview of the world’s largest voluntary platforms for pledging and reporting on climate commitments such as America’s Pledge, C40 Cities for Climate Leadership Group, UNFCCC’s Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA), EU Covenant of Mayors, or Compact of States and Regions. It finds that a total of 8,419 subnational actors, made up of 8,237 cities and municipalities from 128 countries, and 182 states and regions from 37 countries, are participants in voluntary platforms for pledging and reporting on climate commitments. Afterwards, the report seeks to analyse to what extend non-state and subnational actions’ impact is additional to national government policies.
A closer look is taken at the impact of individual commitments made by cities, regions, and companies, as well as the impact of international cooperative initiatives. The report also analyses emissions trajectories of several high-emitting countries - Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and the United States and the European Union. In this context, the report demonstrated the potential for cities, states and regions, and companies to significantly contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
International cooperative initiatives have the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions significantly beyond what is currently expected from national policies alone. The report found that global emissions in 2030 would be around a third (15-23 GtCO2e/year) lower than they would be from a current national policies pathway, assuming all initiatives analysed meet their goals. In addition, these reductions would bring global emissions in 2030 into a range consistent with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. Thus, cities, regions, companies, and other national, corporate, and civil society actors could accelerate or increase support of national governments to implement more ambitious national policies and Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.
“The potential of these commitments to help the world avoid dangerous climate change is clear – the key is now to ensure that these commitments are really implemented. What our report shows is many actors are signing up to take actions, but their ambition and ability to move us faster and closer to reach the Paris climate goals in time is limited. What’s needed now is the financing, policies, and support to urgently realize these efforts,” said Angel Hsu, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Yale-NUS College and Director of Data-Driven Yale.