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Policy Innovation

Policy Innovation

The States and Regions Policy Innovation program aims to accelerate the pace of climate policy development and adoption at the state and regional level – helping to ensure that a “bottom up” approach to climate policy leads to the large-scale impacts that are needed.

The program consists of two projects and one lead initiative:

  • Peer Forums facilitate experience sharing between global sub-national governments in order to improve governments’ policymaking capacity, foster bi-lateral and multilateral partnerships, and identify emerging opportunities, barriers, and innovations.
  • The Policy Innovation Lab works to identify and scale emerging state and regional policy innovations.
  • Energy Transition Platform supports state and regional governments in developing and implementing innovative clean energy policies.

More info is available below. 

To find out more about our Policy Innovation work, please contact Evan Juska, Head of US Policy, The Climate Group.

Peer Forums

The Peer Forums build on the existing work of the States and Regions Alliance, facilitating experience sharing between a core group of leading state and regional governments.

The objectives of the Peer Forums are to:

  1. Accelerate global learning between leading state and regional governments in order to improve policymaking capacity;
  2. Build strong relationships between participating governments in order to foster bi-lateral and multilateral partnerships; and
  3. Identify emerging climate policy opportunities, barriers, and innovations that can be advanced through targeted projects.

The Peer Forums function through regular webinars, videoconferences, and in-person meetings. Each Forum is focused around one of four thematic areas, including: technology, finance, transition, and adaptation.

Current members of the Clean Technology Peer Forum include: Brittany (lead), Basque Country, Bavaria, KwaZulu-Natal, La Réunion, North Rhine-Westphalia, Ontario, Québec, Rio de Janeiro State, Upper Austria, Wales and Wallonia.

Current members of the Adaptation Peer Forum include: South Australia (lead), Bavaria, Catalonia, La Réunion, New York State, Ontario, Québec, Rio de Janeiro State, Sao Paulo State and Tasmania.

Policy Innovation Lab

While many national governments remain stuck in entrenched ideological debates, state and regional governments around the world are moving forward to develop a new generation of innovative climate and energy policies.

They include policies to grow clean energy investment, such as green banks in Connecticut and New York and green bonds in Massachusetts and Ile de France. They include policies to spur energy innovation, such as energy storage requirements in California and clean tech clusters in Brittany, Quebec, and North Rhine-Westphalia. And they include policies to help build climate resilience, such as public-private partnerships in Scotland, South Australia and Tasmania.

The Policy Innovation Lab will focus specifically on identifying and scaling successful state and regional policy innovations that are emerging around the world.

Innovations will be profiled in Policy Innovation Briefings and shared with other sub-national governments through a range of platforms including webinars, in-person meetings, workshops, and projects between first adopters, policy experts, and interested governments.

For more information on policy innovation, see our report: Age of Experiments: How states and regions are developing the next generation of climate and energy policies.


  • Age of Experiments: How states and regions are developing the next generation of climate and energy policies (by Evan Juska, September 2014):
  • This report demonstrates how states and regions are innovating on climate policy and examines the nature of these sub-national policy experiments – as well as what it will take for them to contribute to the large-scale impacts that are needed. Two policies that exemplify the trend of a new generation of policies are Connecticut’s Green Bank in the US and South Australia’s Adaptation Framework, which are both featured in this report.
  • Summary report of the Electric Vehicle Policy Initiative (November 2013):
  • In September 2011, The Climate Group created the Electric Vehicle Policy Initiative — a forum for leading sub-national governments to share experiences, lessons learned and best practices on the development of electric vehicle policies. Throughout 2012, group participants met virtually to identify the most critical issues facing their governments in regard to EV policy, to share experiences and ideas for engaging consumers on EVs, and to discuss EV financing and infrastructure. This report summarizes the findings.
  • Leadership from the World’s States and Regions (June 2012):
  • The report is framed around elements of sub-national leadership that are key to driving the Clean Revolution. It showcases a host of ambitious measures that are being implemented by Alliance members, and highlights the potential for replication across the world. And it identifies actions which will enable all governments to increase momentum on mainstreaming climate policy and transformational solutions for a smarter, better, more prosperous world.

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