Portugal joins the Under2 Coalition

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15 June 2018

CALIFORNIA– Yesterday Portugal became the latest national government to endorse the Under2 Coalition, the global network led by state and regional governments committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change.

Tim Ash-Vie, Director of the Under2 Coalition Secretariat at The Climate Group, said, “We are delighted that Portugal is endorsing the Under2 Coalition and look forward to working with them along with the Portuguese regions of Azores and Madeira which have been members of the coalition since 2015.”

As Co-chair of the Under2 Coalition, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. met with Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa at the State Capitol in Sacramento to officially welcome Portugal to the coalition. They were joined by Portugal’s Minister of Economy Manuel Caldeira Cabral, Ambassador of Portugal to the United States Domingos Fezas Vital and Consul General of Portugal in San Francisco Maria João Lopes Cardoso.

“Portugal is in the frontline against global warming. We are committed to fulfilling the goals of the Paris Agreement, and believe that the action needed to address climate change represents an opportunity to develop and transform our economies and to create jobs, goods and services through new market opportunities linked to low carbon technologies. Portugal is adopting decarbonization policies in transport and assuming an ambitious agenda related to renewable energies” said Prime Minister Costa.

He went on to say, “Global challenges require joint efforts. Portugal is pleased to join other partners in endorsing the Under2 Coalition.”

With the addition of Portugal, the Under2 Coalition now includes 206 governments across six continents and 43 countries that collectively represent more than 1.3 billion people and $30 trillion GDP – nearly 40% of the global economy. Members of the coalition make a number of key commitments, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 80-95% below 1990 levels or to less than two annual metric tons per capita by 2050.

Governor Brown said, “Portuguese people have long called California home and today that bond grows stronger with Portugal joining the Under2 Coalition to confront the existential threat of climate change.”

The consequences of climate change are already being felt in California, Portugal and around the world. A growing body of evidence suggests that climate change raises the likelihood of warm and dry conditions, which are associated with the increased severity and length of fire seasons. Last year, wildfires in California and Portugal were among the most destructive on record for both jurisdictions.

The Coalition was founded in 2015 by California and the German state of Baden-Württemberg to galvanize ambitious climate action from subnational governments in the build up to the COP21 climate summit when the historic Paris Agreement was reached.

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