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Frequently asked questions

Some of the questions we often get asked about the Under2 Coalition.

Why is it called the "Under2" Coalition?

“Under2” refers to the goal of limiting global warming to below 2°C, which is needed to avert catastrophic climate change. It also refers to the goal of limiting greenhouse gas emissions to below two annual metric tons per capita by 2050.

How many members are represented by the Coalition?

There are currently over 220 governments represented by the Under2 Coalition.

Who founded the Under2 Coalition?

The Under2 Coalition originated from a partnership between California and Baden-Württemberg with the aim of bringing together ambitious states and regions willing to make a number of key commitments toward emissions reductions. In May 2015, California and Baden-Württemberg, along with 10 other signatories, founded the Under2 Coalition. The Under2 Coalition helped to galvanise action ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21) in December 2015.

What is the "Under2 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)"?

The Under2 MOU is a climate agreement that brings together state and regional governments willing to make a number of key commitments, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels or to less than 2 annual metric tons per capita by 2050. All governments that sign and endorse the Under2 MOU make up the Under2 Coalition.

What is the difference between a signatory and an endorser?

Signatories are subnational governments (including states, regions, and cities) and endorsers are typically national governments.

What is an appendix?

An appendix is a plan that a government sets to highlight current or future actions and commitments to achieve emissions reduction targets. Appendices illustrate the breadth and diversity of approaches in mitigation and cover a range of topics, such as renewable energy, sustainable transportation, natural resource protection, and adaptation. 

Why is climate action at a state and regional level important?

According to the United Nations Development Programme, 50-80% of the mitigation and adaptation actions necessary to tackle climate change will be implemented at the state and regional levels of governance. These governments are particularly well placed to address climate change for a number of reasons, including:

  • They are often responsible for the development and implementation of policies that have the most impact on climate change, including in the areas of air quality; transportation; energy and energy efficiency; the built environment; natural lands; technology innovation, development, and transfer; and others that have direct implications for greenhouse gas emissions levels;
  • State and regional governments often serve as the laboratories for policy innovations which are then adopted at the national and even international level; and
  • State and regional governments provide the critical link in the vertical integration of climate policies between national and local governments.