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Further, Faster, Together

Subnational governments aim for 2030 in fight against climate change

7 November 2021, 13:00 GMT 3 min read

7 November 2021: 68 state, regional and city governments today affirmed their urgent commitment to addressing the climate crisis by signing up to a range of cross-sector actions ahead of 2030. This is part of a global call from non-state actors in recognition of the increased impacts of climate change and their critical role in addressing it.

Convening at COP26, governments from the Under2 Coalition, U.S. Climate Alliance and C40 acknowledged the need to move beyond 2050 targets and focus on the short-term actions to reach them in order to keep global temperature rises to 1.5°C. This means taking measures across all sectors to drive down emissions and protect biodiversity.

Leaders at Further, Faster, Together

The range of actions announced today cover:

  • Inter-governmental cooperation and planning
  • Built environment 
  • Clean transportation
  • Energy
  • Environmental justice
  • Nature-based solutions 
  • Waste
  • Agriculture

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to effectively mitigate climate change. The actions we take in the next five years will determine the fate of our species. I’m proud to stand with this global coalition of governors and mayors to go beyond pledges. Together, we are charting a path to make tangible, meaningful progress to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and get to net zero by 2050. Now is the time for leaders to buckle down and get it done.”

Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State

Reinaldo Azambuja, Governor of Mato Grasso do Sul, said: “We are facing a crucial moment for the planet and future generations. No action by public authorities and society that impacts economic and social development can escape the Paris Agreement commitments, in order to contain global warming and prevent climate consequences on economies and populations.

“The state of Mato Grosso do Sul, a prominent voice in the Brazilian choir at COP26 and on its way to becoming a carbon neutral state by 2050, is increasing pasture recovery, improving livestock and agriculture systems and producing clean energy through robust state programmes. We call on world authorities and financial institutions to join our efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and build a better and prosperous world.”

Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of the State of Baden-Württemberg, said: “With its ambitious net zero target by 2040, Baden-Württemberg is a pioneer in setting targets. But we have also already defined measures on how we want to achieve this: be it through the obligation to install solar cells on new buildings, through the proportion of wind power plants that will be specified in the future or through the promotion of local public transport. We support the “Further, faster, together” initiative to show that even a highly industrialised region like Baden-Württemberg can implement climate protection measures without losing prosperity."

Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions and Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies said: "As nations work to speed up their progress cutting emissions, they should look to the cities, states, and regions that have been leading the way forward. By committing to ambitious, short-term action and sharing smart strategies, local leaders are helping ensure that we stay on track to avoid the worst impacts of climate change."

Among today’s commitments are pledges to halt biodiversity loss in states and regions by 2030 and aim for habitat and population gains by 2035, as well as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock – including methane – by 30% by 2030. Other commitments include reaching 100% zero-carbon energy by 2045 and ensuring 100% net zero operating emissions from new building construction from 2030. 

“The science is clear: we need to move much, much faster if we want to tackle the climate emergency and prevent potentially devastating global temperature rises. COP26 has helped to focus minds on this agenda once again and state and regional governments have shown that they have the dedication and commitment to make change happen. This needs to spread to all governments, everywhere in the coming months to enable real progress by the end of this decade.”

Tim Ash Vie, Director of the Under2 Coalition Secretariat

Cities have been taking a wide range of actions to ensure continued progress on the climate agenda. Copenhagen is aiming to entirely decarbonise electricity and heat used in buildings by 2025, in 2020 Ville de Montréal announced a draft by-law banning oil heating systems in all new buildings, including the mandatory removal of heating oil systems in existing buildings by 2030, and London's drive to implement zero carbon policies has drastically improved the performance of new buildings.

"Cities, regions and states are leading the fight to address the climate emergency. These coalitions are bringing about transformational change in this crucial decade by working together. Making urgent progress across sectors, including reducing emissions from our built environment, is absolutely essential to addressing the climate crisis head-on. Setting the important goal of net zero new building construction by 2030 is an essential step on the pathway to ensuring all buildings are net zero by 2050."

David Miller, C40 Managing Director of International Diplomacy

A recent United Nations report has shown that, with current emissions projections, the world should be prepared for a temperature rise of about 2.7°C by the end of the century. The consequences of this rise would be catastrophic, and again underline the need for short-term – as well as long-term – commitments. Although today’s pledges are an important step, it is clear that more needs to be done at all levels to ensure genuine progress on climate change.

The pledges come shortly after a new commitment from the Under2 Coalition to make net zero emissions a baseline for membership. The Coalition’s co-chairs, California, Chungnam, KwaZulu-Natal, Querétaro and Scotland, and governments of its Steering Group, led the call to all subnational governments to make net zero a reality and work to bring national governments to do the same, with credible pathways to meeting those targets.

Notes to editors:

For the full list of commitments and signatories visit: https://www.theclimategroup.org/further-faster-together-under2-leaders-… 

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Date added: 09/11/21

Read the full set of commitments