“Climate change is real, but the action of states and regions, businesses and the global community is also real – and it’s going to be successful”

Ken Alex, Governor's Office, California government
Ilario D'Amato
6 December 2017

Ken Alex, Senior Advisor at Governor's Office, California

Ahead of the One Planet Summit in Paris next week, we are showcasing how sub-national governments and leading businesses are implementing the historic Paris Agreement that was agreed at COP21 in 2015. For the next two weeks, we will demonstrate how climate action is good for companies and citizens, and how our work is helping accelerate the transition towards a world of under 2°C of global warming and greater prosperity for all.

NEW YORK: Even if the United States government is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change, Ken Alex, Senior Advisor at Governor's Office, California says “in no way does it mean that we’re stopping” climate action, because it’s “good for our economy, it’s good for the people and it’s the way forward”.

Speaking in a Climate TV interview during Climate Week NYC, which is organized by The Climate Group, he says: “Climate Week NYC is where we are underscoring that point. We need to reinforce how much is being done at the sub-national level with states like California, Minnesota, New York and all around the world – and of course all the businesses that have made very large commitments and are doing a huge amount to reduce emissions.”

The state of California has been vital to the Under2 Coalition, of which The Climate Group acts as Secretariat. Comprising more than 200 governments around the world, representing over 1.3 billion people and almost 40% of the global economy, it brings together forward-thinking sub-national governments that want to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions toward net-zero by 2050.

“The importance of it is really the fact that sub-national states, regions and cities play the most crucial role as the place where action on climate is taking place,” says Ken Alex. “That’s even more important because the United States has walked away from its obligations, so more than ever sub-nationals need to lead the way. I think the Under2 Coalition is a significant part of that.”


This year’s Climate Week NYC highlighted how climate action is an integrated part of the clean, more sustainable economy of the future. “California is the home of innovation, jobs and prosperity,” underscores Ken Alex.

“We lead a lot of the technological revolution and now the data revolution for the world. Climate change is a significant part of that: we really do believe that the future is around clean technology and sustainability. California is hopefully a leader, and we certainly buy into it and believe it.”

To achieve this important goal and celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate signed two years ago, the One Planet Summit next week will gather international leaders around the world to show how they are tackling climate change, and share solutions – both on a global and local scale.

“We need to show that the commitments made are real,” concludes Ken Alex. “The Under2 Coalition is where action is happening, so we can show on the ground that these states and regions are identifying things like their baseline emissions, how do they get to 2030 or 2050 goals with a strong economy, and then take specific action around reducing emissions and working together to do so in ways that create synergies.

“The message is: climate change is real, but the action of states and regions, businesses and the global community is also real – and it’s going to be successful.”

Under2 Coalition

For more info or to be part of this work, contact:
Tim Ash Vie, Director of the Under 2 Coalition Secretariat, The Climate Group
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