States and Regions
State and regional governments have an exciting and important role to play in the transition to a low carbon future. The United Nations Development Program estimates that 50‐80% of actions required to implement a global deal happen at the sub-national level of government which has important competencies in the areas of generation, supply and distribution of electricity, the regulation of the built environment, waste management, transport and land‐use planning.
As one of the first actors realizing this potential, The Climate Group teamed up with the States of Quebec and Manitoba in 2005 to hold the first Climate Leaders Summit, resulting in the Montreal Declaration of Federated States and Regions signed by over 50 sub-national governments from around the world committing to setting targets and implementing climate action in their own jurisdictions.
Since then, The Climate Group has convened a series of high level summits and continuously built a strong international network of leading States and Regions that identifies and shares best practices in order to accelerate the low-carbon economy and spread the evidence on the benefits of the Clean Revolution at the sub-national level.
A series of joint commitments confirms the Alliance members’ common ambition for leadership and illustrates their strong role in global climate action. Concrete topics of common concern are developed in a number of member government-led working groups, allowing Alliance members to learn and exchange experiences amongst each other as well as with The Climate Group’s wider global network.
The States and Regions Alliance core group consists of 23 full The Climate Group members: Baden-Württemberg, Basque Country, Bavaria, Brittany, California, Catalonia, Ile-de-France, KwaZulu-Natal, La Reunion, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Rhone-Alpes, New York State, North Rhine Westphalia, Quintana Roo, Sao Paulo, Scotland, South Australia, Tasmania, Upper Austria, Wales, Wallonia.
Examples of leading actions by each region can be found in their member profiles, as well as in our States and Regions Clean Revolution Leadership report.
Besides fostering climate ambition through join commitments and by showcasing examples of sub-national government leadership, the Alliance also aims to advance concrete solutions. Based on its own governance structure; a number of member-led working groups have been established to address key areas of joint interest in a continuous and structured way. Working groups are open to all full members of the Alliance.
Energy Efficiency Financing Working Group:
Sub-national governments are looking to increase their knowledge of innovative financing instruments. A study carried out for The Climate Group at Stanford University shed some first light at the instruments available to this particular level of government to promote energy efficiency investments in their constituencies.
The working group, led by the government of South Australia will further develop this knowledge through an in-depth exchange of experiences and analysis of available best practices as well as in dialogue with relevant private sector stakeholders, initially focusing particularly on buildings refurbishments and energy efficient lighting.
EV Policy Initiative:
Electric vehicles represent one of the most promising technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and dependence on oil. Leading state and regional governments around the world are implementing policies to speed their deployment, but more coordination is needed to ensure their success.
Led by the government of Quebec, the EV Policy Initiative is a forum for state and regional governments around the world to share best practices on EV policy and identify potential opportunities for further action and collaboration.
Marine Energy Technologies Working Group:
This working group, led by the Basque Country aims to bring together regional governments as well as private actors involved in the development of the marine renewable energy potential to share expertise, better understand each others’ perspective and jointly develop recommendations for the way forward.
Based on an analysis of the current state of play in the participating regions and beyond, it will identify synergies, opportunities for mutual learning, mentoring and cooperation on key issues such as RTD policies, public and private RTD actors, financial actors, knowledge creation and transfer, and smart specialisation strategies.
“Small Caps”/ Green Economy Working Group:
This working group, led by the government of Brittany aims to help sub-national governments to promote links and partnerships between Clean Revolution SMEs as well as to develop a benchmarking public policy and financial assistance tools to inform their decision making.
Joint Emissions Reporting Platform:
This project aims to develop a standardized reporting platform for regional governments to consistently report on their emissions, reductions achieved and low-carbon policies, helping them to monitor their progress and to provide transparent information for intra-regional benchmarking and analysis of progress and challenges across the sub-national government level.
Adaptation Working Group
This working group, led by the government of South Australia, aims to support sub-national governments in developing adequate climate adaptation strategies. A series of webinars will provide opportunities for participants from different government bodies to exchange experiences and best practices on topics such as climate modeling, economic, environmental and health impacts, natural disaster risk management, community awareness and mobilization, protection of critical infrastructures etc. A special focus will also be put in collaboration with the private sector in developing innovation insurance solutions to the challenges.
Links to other The Climate Group Programs:
The States and Regions Alliance members also maintains close links with other transformative actions led by The Climate Group such as our current initiatives on smart cities and energy efficient street lighting
Since its foundation the Alliance has continuously affirmed its leadership in a series of declarations committing members to domestic ambitious actions and formulating their expectations from national and international decision takers:
June 2012: Rio Clean Revolution Statement and Summit
States and Regions Alliance members at their General Assembly on June 18th signed the Clean Revolution Statement during the Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro with clear joint commitments on energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transport based on their earlier and broader Cancun Statement.
Current signatories of the Statement include the governments of the Baden-Württemberg, Basque Country, Brittany, Catalonia, Ile-de-France, Jämtland, La Reunion, Manitoba, North Rhine-Westphalia, Quebec, Quintana Roo, Rhone-Alpes, Sao Paulo, Scotland, South Australia, Wales and Wallonia. Further members that were not present in Rio are still expected to join the statement.
At the World Summit of States and Regions on June 19th hosted by the State of Rio, The Climate Group and nrg4sd, over 50 sub-national government leaders from around the world convened and confirmed their overall commitment to sustainable development and the Green Economy in the Declaration of Federated States and Regions of Rio de Janeiro.
The TCG Alliance members also reconfirmed their commitment to the Billion Trees Initiative (Copenhagen 2009), with signatories already half-way towards the achievement of their 2015 goal.
December 2011: States and Regions key climate achievements
States and Regions brought to COP 17 in Durban an overview of some of their key climate achievements, providing some inspiring examples for the impact of sub-national leadership for the Clean Revolution and reconfirming their dedication to continuously increasing their ambition.
October 2011: Lyon Declaration
At the European Conference of Regions on Climate Action in October 2011 co-organised by the region of Rhone-Alpes, The Climate Group and nrg4SD, European States and Regions reconfirmed their commitment to climate action and called for the adoption of ambitious emission reduction targets at European and international levels in the Lyon Declaration that was handed over to global decision takers at the COP 17 in Durban.
June 2011: States and Regions call for 30% EU GHG emissions target
Aiming to promote ambitious climate targets also at the European level, the governments of European Alliance members Baden-Württemberg, the Basque Country, Bavaria, Brittany, Catalonia, Cornwall, Ile de France, Rhone-Alpes, Scotland and Wales signed a call for 30% EU GHG emissions reduction target to support the 30% call by 74 major corporations co-organised between The Climate Group, The Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership and WWF Climate Savers.
December 2010: Cancun Statement and Sectoral Framework
At the third Climate Leaders Summit hosted by The Climate Group in Cancun, the sub-national governments in attendance committed to continue to develop low-carbon policies and to regularly report on their progress in the Cancun Statement of Federal States & Regional Governments on Low Carbon & Climate Resilient Development and the accompanying Cancun Sectoral Framework.
June 2010: Bonn Declaration of States and Regional Governments
At the high level conference organised on the side of to the UNFCCC negotiating session in Bonn, Germany, co-hosted by the government of North-Rhine Westphalia and The Climate Group, the States and Regions called for bold action to progress the UN negotiations, highlighted the core role of sub-national governments in global climate action as well as confirmed their own commitments to climate action and to reporting back on their progress at COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico.
March 2010: Paris-Ile-de-France Declaration of Regional Governments to the EU
At a conference co-organised by the government of Ile-de-France and The Climate Group in Paris, the Federated States and Regional Governments and their respective networks gathered confirmed their support for the Copenhagen Accord and their own commitments made in the Copenhagen Statement as well as called for strong climate initiatives at the European level.
December 2009: Copenhagen Statement and Billion Trees commitment
At the second Climate Leaders Summit hosted by The Climate Group at COP 15 in Copenhagen, 60 Leaders, Ministers, State Secretaries and regional leaders committed to take practical actions to expand low carbon technologies and collaborate in addressing climate challenges, called for ambitious GHG reduction targets to meet the 2 degree target and an international climate change agreement, as well as recognized the important leadership role of sub-national governments in meeting the Climate Conventions’ goals. With the publication of "The Real Deal", sub-national governments reported back on their achievements made since the 2008 Poznan Statement of Action
On the initiative of the government of South Australia, leaders also committed to jointly planting a billion trees by 2015.
2008: Poznan Statement of Actions
During the second Climate Leaders Summit in Poznan, the signatories of the Montreal Declaration reported on their progress and agreed a new “action statement” presented to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer, in which they committed to setting targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency to accelerate low carbon policies prior to next year's climate change meeting in Copenhagen.
December 2005: Montreal Declaration
Realizing the potential of sub-national levels in driving the Clean Revolution, The Climate Group teamed up with the States of Quebec and Manitoba in 2005 to hold the first Climate Leaders Summit, resulting in the Montreal Declaration of Federated States and Regions signed by sub-national governments from around the world committing to setting targets and implementing climate action in their own jurisdictions. This document continues to be signed by all members and affiliates of the Alliance as the founding basis of its work.
Membership and governance
The States and Regions Alliance currently counts 23 full members:
Baden-Württemberg, Basque Country, Bavaria, Brittany, California, Catalonia, Ile-de-France, KwaZulu-Natal, La Reunion, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Rhone-Alpes, New York State, North Rhine Westphalia, Quintana Roo, Sao Paulo, Scotland, South Australia, Tasmania, Upper Austria, Wales and Wallonia.
This core group is supported by a wider network of over 30 affiliate regions worldwide who signed up to the Montreal Declaration:
British Columbia, Aragon, Baja California, Burgenland, Campeche, Carinthia, Coahuila, Connecticut, Durango, Fatick, Flanders, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Maine, Michoacan, Morelos, New Brunswick, New South Wales, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nuevo Leon, Nunavut, Penang, Poitou-Charentes, Prince Edward Island, Queensland, San Luis Potosi, Selangor, Sonora, South Holland, Tabasco, Tuscany, Vastra Gotaland, Vermont, Victoria, Western Australia, Western Cape, Wielkopolska, Yukon
The Alliance has its own governance structure, allowing members to take ownership of the work. The governments of Quebec (America), Basque Country (Europe) and South Australia (Australia/Asia) were elected as Co-chairs to publicly represent the Alliance and provide strategic guidance for its work. In this task, it is assisted by a Steering Group, consisting of the governments of Brittany, Catalonia, North Rhine Westphalia and Sao Paulo.
The Climate Group is acting as Secretariat to the Alliance, managing the day-to-day strategic development of its work. It also aims for a close integration of the Alliance’s work with the wider The Climate Group Clean Revolution campaign, ensuring its perspectives are fed into the overall debates and sub-national government leadership is fully profiled on its platforms, as well as maximizing the benefits of its network to facilitate collaboration and exchange between its corporate and government members.