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Frequently asked questions

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

Under2 signing ceremony

Who founded the Under2 Coalition?

In May 2015, California and Baden-Württemberg, along with 10 other signatories, founded the Under2 Coalition as a community of state and regional climate leaders. Since then more than 100 leading and ambitious states and regions have joined them and made key commitments toward emissions reductions.

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.

Shouldn’t it be the ‘Under1.5’ Coalition if science suggests this is the temperature rise we should be aiming for?

In signing up to become a member of the Under2 Coalition, our members commit to keeping global temperature rises to well below 2°C with efforts to reach 1.5°C, language that is consistent with the 2015 Paris Agreement. More than twenty states and regions in the Coalition have committed to or are in the process of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier, consistent with the most recent science.

The Coalition recognises that global warming must be capped at 1.5°C to limit the unmanageable and often dangerous effects of climate change and, to be in with a fighting chance at doing this, we must halve global emissions by 2030. We recognise that, for some states and regions, these targets are currently out of reach, but not unthinkable for the future. That is why we support governments to accelerate their climate action and level of ambition, including through projects on how to build capacity and develop a sustainable pathway to long-term emissions reductions.

How many members are represented by the Coalition?

The Under2 Coalition brings together 260 governments representing 1.75 billion people and 50% of the global economy. The full list of members can be found here

Our membership is broken up into ‘signatories’ (state, regional and provincial governments as well as city and local governments that have signed the Under2 MOU) and ‘endorsers’ (national and state-level governments that wish to support the goals of the Under2 Coalition).

What key areas does the Under2 Coalition support its members in?

Under2 Coalition and works with governments to accelerate climate action through three workstreams – climate pathways, policy action and transparency. 

Within each workstream, we run transformative projects with state and regional governments on topics including: zero emission vehicles, reducing methane emissions, transitioning to low carbon industry, developing pathways to long-term emissions reduction and improving greenhouse gas emissions tracking and reduction efforts. 

More information on all of our workstreams and projects can be found here

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. This includes 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 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. 

What obligations does a state or region have once it joins the Under2 Coalition?

To become an Under2 MOU signatory, governments are expected to meet conditions that are aligned with limiting the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. 

For more information on the specific criteria that prospective signatories should meet at the time of signing the Under2 MOU, please contact Nehmat Kaur, Head of Global Government Relations, the Climate Group – [email protected]

How does a state or region join the Under2 Coalition?

The Under2 Coalition is primarily driven by state and regional governments. However, jurisdictions at all levels of government may sign or endorse the Under2 MOU. For more information or to express your intent to sign the Under2 MOU, please contact Nehmat Kaur, Head of Global Government Relations, the Climate Group – [email protected] 

Why should states and regions join the Under2 Coalition?

By joining the Under2 Coalition, you are joining the world’s largest coalition of state and regional governments acting on climate change. Together, our members represent 1.75 billion people and 50% of the global economy.

As a member of the Under2 Coalition, you are part of a strong global network of subnational climate actors and will have access to our strong member offering

If you have any questions, please contact Nehmat Kaur, Head of Global Government Relations, the Climate Group – [email protected]

How can a state or region promote its membership of the Under2 Coalition?

As a member of the Under2 Coalition, the Secretariat can support you with global profiling and communications. We encourage you to share the news of your membership among your constituents and stakeholders, whether through social media, press release etc., and we will also amplify your commitments through the Climate Group’s communications channels. 

We’re always happy to work with members to produce content for the Under2 Coalition website, including case studies and guest articles. For more information or to talk through the opportunities available, please contact our communications team:

Sophie Benger, Senior Communications Manager – [email protected]

Sarah Clark, Communications Officer – [email protected] 

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;
  • State and regional governments provide the critical link in the vertical integration of climate policies between national and local governments.

How is the Under2 Coalition connected to the Climate Group?

The Climate Group is the Secretariat to the Under2 Coalition and works with governments to accelerate climate action through implementation support on decarbonisation pathways, policy action as well as holding the governments to account.

How can I keep up to date with the work that the Under2 Coalition is doing?

Our website showcases the work of our global government members. You can search through our news, press releases and publications, here

The Climate Group is also active on Twitter, and all Under2 Coalition updates use #Under2Coalition. For email updates, you can sign up to the Under2 Coalition’s quarterly newsletter.

Does the Under2 Coalition host events and, if so, where can I find out about them?

Yes, all Under2 Coalition events hosted by the Climate Group can be found on our website’s events page. The Under2 Coalition also updates a calendar of key events and dates relevant to our state and regional members.  

Information on upcoming events are also included in the Under2 Coalition and Climate Group newsletters, which you can sign up to here