The state of play

Emissions reporting and climate change action at the sub-national level
Reading time: 20 minutes
2 December 2014

While states and regions are increasingly recognized for their huge potential to act on climate, to date there has been no standardized global data set to show the current and potential impact of sub-national governments.

The report "State of play: Emissions reporting and climate change action at the sub-national level" by CDP and The Climate Group, presents results from a global pilot program undertaken by the two organizations. The report shows that for the first time, state and regional governments from across the world have reported their climate targets, actions and achievements through a standardized platform.

Providing a deeper understanding of state and regional climate leadership, the collected data will help improve management of sub-national emissions reductions efforts as well as accountability for climate targets. 

Highlights from the pilot include:

  • 75% of respondents have a region-wide emissions reduction target
  • 92% of respondents have an emissions inventory
  • 100% reported a physical risk of climate change (with the majority of these judged as either serious or very serious and likely to happen in the short term)
  • 100% are taking action to adapt to these risks
  • 75% of respondents seek private sector investment for climate change projects

State and regional governments from across five continents reported climate change information through CDP. These include several members of The Climate Group's States & Regions, such as the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, the Province of Quebec, the Region of the Basque Country, the Region of Catalonia, ESP, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the State of Rio de Janeiro, the State of São Paulo and the State of Tasmania.

All together, the full list of governments who provided data for the report account for almost 750 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the 2012 carbon dioxide emissions of Australia and Spain combined.

Based on the success and learnings from the initial sample, there are plans to upscale the pilot to a full program in 2015.

The pilot program was funded by Zennström Philanthropies.

The Climate Group's States & Regions brings together sub-national government leaders from around the world to be part of a powerful, high-profile network that shares expertise and influences the international dialogue on climate action. Find out more.

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