Sub-national governments are taking climate action today: CDP and The Climate Group produce first-of-its-kind pilot

Clare Saxon Ghauri
Reading time: 4 minutes
2 December 2014

LONDON: 100% of sub-national governments surveyed are taking action to adapt to climate risks, and 75% are seeking private sector investment for climate projects. These are the results of a new pilot study by CDP and The Climate Group, which collects climate reporting of states and regions from across five continents into a first-of-its-kind standardized platform.

The report, State of play: Emissions reporting and climate change action at the sub-national level, presents results from a global reporting pilot program undertaken by the two organizations, which gathers data from 12 state and regional governments on climate targets, actions and achievements for the first time. Previously there had been no standardized global data set to showcase the current and potential opportunities for sub-national governments' climate impacts.

Providing a deeper understanding of state and regional climate leadership, the collected data will help sub-national governments boost their emission reduction efforts as well as improve accountability for their 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 most 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 for the pilot. Nigel Topping, Executive Director, CDP, said: “The results of this pilot show that not only are sub-national governments adept at recognizing the risks of climate change, they are taking forward-thinking and concrete steps to ensure the resilience of their communities.”

All together, the full list of governments who provided data account for almost 750 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

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, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the State of Rio de Janeiro, the State of São Paulo and the State of Tasmania.

Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director, The Climate Group, said: "Measurement and reporting is an essential management tool for effective climate policy making. From working with this group of states and regions from all parts of the world, this pilot demonstrates that sub-national governments are an essential player in driving impactful climate action.

"This platform offers for the first time a global mechanism to understand the contribution of sub-national governments to global climate efforts and for states and regions to better measure the impact of their climate strategies."

Based on the success and learnings from the initial sample, there are plans to upscale the pilot, which was funded by Zennström Philanthropies, to a full program in 2015.  

CDP’s regions reporting platform - which is already used to measure, manage and reduce climate impacts by hundreds of cities and thousands of companies worldwide - will support the Compact of States and Regions, a commitment announced at the UN Climate Summit in September to provide the first, single global account of greenhouse gas reduction targets and progress made by state and regional governments.

The pilot's results will be presented at The Climate Group's events at COP20 in Lima next week. You can follow our activities in Lima on Twitter using #statesandregions

Read the report now

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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By Clare Saxon

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