On heels of Compact launched at UN Climate Summit, new report shows states and regions are innovating on climate policy

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23 September 2014

NEW YORK: Today a new Compact of States and Regions was launched at the UN Climate Summit, alongside a new report by The Climate Group which shows how states and regions are innovating on climate policy.

Over the past two decades, the world has looked to national governments to confront the risks posed by a changing climate. But to date, those collective efforts have fallen short.

On the heels of the UN Climate Summit, where The Climate Group, CDP, nrg4sd and R20 announced the Compact of States and Regions, a new report released today by The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance - with support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund - shows how, while many national governments remain stuck in entrenched debates, state and regional governments around the world are moving forward to develop a new generation of innovative climate and energy policies.

Together, they amount to a series of policy ‘experiments’ that will shape the future climate policy landscape.

The report, Age of Experiments: How states and regions are developing the next generation of climate and energy policies, 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.

Key highlights include:

  • The new generation of climate and energy policies being developed by states and regions are motivated by local needs, aimed at overcoming specific barriers, and designed to do more with less government spending.
  • Two policies that exemplify this trend are Connecticut’s Green Bank and South Australia’s Adaptation Framework. The former attracted US$180 million in new private investment for clean energy last year, while the latter has seen every region of the state commit to an adaptation planning process.
  • In order for these new policy models to contribute to the large-scale impacts that are needed to tackle climate change, they must spread beyond their original borders. This process can be accelerated through global learning, and by overcoming specific barriers to adoption.

Evan Juska, Head of US Policy for The Climate Group, author of the report, said: “Uncertainty has always been a central feature of climate policymaking. But it’s this very uncertainty that argues for a greater degree of policy innovation and experimentation at every level of government: national, state and regional, city, and local.

“With a greater focus on facilitating global learning and overcoming barriers to policy adoption, a great opportunity exists for today’s sub-national policy experiments to achieve scale, enable further action, and ensure that the new generation of policies is more successful than the past.”

Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director, The Climate Group, said: "This report highlights that when looking for the next generation of climate policies, we should not ignore the incredible developments happening within state and regional governments.

"Our state and regional government members are pushing boundaries and developing new policies to reduce emissions and tackle climate change. Through the States and Regions Alliance, The Climate Group is committed to helping our member governments to share what works with peers all over the world in order that the most effective climate policies are identified and replicated."

Read Age of Experiments: How states and regions are developing the next generation of climate and energy policies

The UN Climate Summit where the Compact and report were launched took place on the second day of Climate Week NYC, which is convened by The Climate Group. Climate Week NYC is the collaborative space for all related events in support of the Summit. 

Read about the new Compact here

For a full list of Climate Week NYC events, please visit ClimateWeekNYC.org and follow the conversation on Twitter using #CWNYC.

You can also see our Climate Week NYC media resources for press releases, contacts and more info.

See key photos of the Climate Week NYC Opening Day here:


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