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State and Regional Leaders Seize the Initiative on Climate Change Action

Date
10 December 2007

Delegates attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference heard today that the international leadership of sub-national governments is fast emerging as one of the most important levers in the worldwide effort to combat climate change.

Twelve international case studies were assessed in a new report published by The °Climate Group showing that emissions reduction targets set by State and Regional governments are often more ambitious than commitments pledged by national governments under the Kyoto Protocol. The launch of the report, Low Carbon Leader: States and Regions, comes ahead of a meeting later in the week of up to 30 Ministers and senior officials from States and Regions who will discuss further development of effective regional action plans on climate change across six continents.

Sub-national governments, many of whom like California have major economies in their own right, can have a globally significant impact on climate change mitigation due to their unique position of influence on their citizens and national governments.

At the launch, delegates heard compelling economic as well as environmental success stories from five States and Regions (California, Western Cape, Quebec, Scotland, and Sao Paulo) who are all moving towards a low carbon economy.

Speaking at the launch, Steve Howard, CEO of The °Climate Group said: "State and Regional leadership on climate change is a vital step forward and should give national governments the confidence they need to make their own bold commitments on climate change. Sub-national governments around the world have shown that it is possible to move fast to develop ambitious climate change strategies and policies that will not only protect the environment but will protect jobs and the economy as well."

In all countries, but especially those where a commitment to climate change policies at the national level has been slow to emerge, regional governments have proved an important "test-bed" for developing effective climate change policy. The report indicates that although the key drivers for policies and strategies may differ between Regions (for example, improving air quality, tackling energy shortages or limiting climate change impacts) effective best practice will inspire and spur further state, regional, national and international action on climate change.

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For further information or interviews please contact:
Tom Howard-Vyse Head of Media, Europe
The °Climate Group
Tel: + 44 (0)7800 933 831
Email: thoward-vyse@theclimategroup.org

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