Sub-national governments advance Paris commitments with new partnerships

Reading time: 4 minutes
1 June 2016

SAN FRANCISCO: Today, at the Seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), the Under 2 coalition announced a new partnership with the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Clean Energy Solution Center, to provide ambitious sub-national governments around the world with free policy advice and technical assistance to support the adoption of clean energy.

Beginning in 2015 as a partnership between California and the German state of Baden-Württemberg, the Under 2 coalition has since attracted over 135 sub-national governments across 32 countries and 6 continents to commit to reducing their GHG emissions by 80-95%, or limiting them to 2 metric tons per capita by 2050. Together, Under 2 signatories represent more than 783 million people and US$21 trillion in GDP, equivalent to more than a quarter of the global economy.

With some of the most ambitious GHG reduction and clean energy goals in the world, Under 2 signatories have committed to work together to implement clean energy policies. The new partnership will help make this possible with targeted policy support, including through the Center’s renowned “Ask an Expert” service.

Launched in 2011, the Clean Energy Solutions Center works with national and sub-national governments to design and implement policies and programs that support the deployment of clean energy technologies. The Solutions Center is primarily sponsored by the United States (DOE), Australia and Sweden, and is operated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). To date, the “Ask an Expert” service has responded to more than 130 requests for policy assistance from nearly 70 countries.

Alexander Dane, Project Leader for Clean Energy Strategy & Implementation at NREL said: “Partnering with the Under 2 coalition provides a unique opportunity to further the Solution Center’s support for sub-national leaders who have made a commitment to GHG reduction and clean energy action.”

Evan Juska, Head of Policy for The Climate Group, North America, said: “When it comes to adopting clean energy, the Under 2 coalition includes some of the most ambitious sub-national governments in the world.  Combining that level of political will with the unmatched policy know-how of the Solutions Center will create exciting opportunities to accelerate clean energy adoption at the sub-national level.”

The partnership comes less than one week after another major global sub-national climate initiative was launched to support highly industrialized, carbon intensive state and regional governments in developing and implementing innovative clean energy policies.

On Wednesday in Dusseldorf, The German region of North Rhine-Westphalia, The Climate Group, and Stiftung Mercator, launched the Energy Transition Platform, which will analyze emerging policy models to improve energy systems, and facilitate the adoption of successful models by state and regional governments worldwide.

To date, partner regions from across Europe, North America and Australia, including Alberta, the Basque Country, California, Hauts-de-France, Lombardy, Minnesota, Silesia, South Australia, Upper Austria and Wales, have joined the Platform.

Robert B. Weisenmiller, Chair of the California Energy Commission said: “The greenhouse gas reduction goals identified in the Under 2 MOU are bold. The Energy Transition Platform and the Clean Energy Solutions Center partnerships are examples of subnational cooperation on a global scale. Both could prove to be quite valuable to the Under 2 coalition as they work toward transitioning to low carbon energy systems.”

Johannes Remmel, Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection for North Rhine-Westphalia, said: “Even as an industry heavy region, we strongly believe that decarbonizing and growing our economy go hand-in-hand. There is a clear competitive advantage to be had in driving low carbon growth, and while there are challenges to overcome along the way, there are also significant opportunities to be seized.”

Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director at The Climate Group, said: “The Energy Transition Platform is a way for partner regions to develop and implement the most effective and forward-thinking climate and energy policies. These heavy industry economies with high potential for emissions reduction are pivotal in getting more governments involved in collective low carbon growth, and moving us toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050. If they can do it, so can the rest of the world.”

Together, these two new partnerships demonstrate that leading sub-national governments are continuing to work together beyond Paris to meet ambitious GHG reductions goals, and to set an example for other sub-national and national governments that a low carbon transition is both possible and beneficial.

For more information on the new partnerships, contact:

Beth Woodthorpe-Evans Head of Media, The Climate Group Media@TheClimateGroup.org | +44 (0)207 960 2715 | +44 (0)7912 514445

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