LONDON: The Compact of States and Regions – the first dedicated global reporting mechanism for state and regional governments to showcase and analyze their climate goals – has just opened its 2016 reporting period. Governments must report their climate data by Friday July 15, 2016.
The Compact allows state and regional governments to publicly report against their commitments to reduce emissions by disclosing region-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory data. Then each year, progress is assessed and governments are incentivized to set even more ambitious reduction goals.
“After the historic Paris Agreement, it is crucial that the spotlight remains on increasing climate action around the world,” says Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director, The Climate Group. “All the more so as the agreement is not due to enter into force before 2020.”
“Last year’s Compact of States and Regions Disclosure Report showed that over three quarters of states and regions who reported to date have bold 2020 targets in place – some as ambitious as reducing GHG emissions by 50% on 1990 levels.”
In December 2015, just a few days before the start of the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, 44 governments reported their emissions and goals to the Compact. These governments represent more than 325 people, one eighth of the global economy (US$10.5 trillion) and emissions savings equivalent to China’s annual emissions by 2030. Once achieved, such targets will amount to annual savings of 2.2 GtC02e a year in 2050 and cumulative savings of 47.4 GtC02e by 2050.
The Paris Agreement struck at COP21 further showcases the critical role sub-national governments must play in achieving the emissions reductions the world needs to keep global temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius, the threshold science has established to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
But while the numbers provided by the Compact demonstrate that the most forward-thinking state and regional governments are already driving this shift, these efforts are not enough to achieve the 2C goal – so increased ambition through the Compact in 2016 is crucial.
“In 2016, we invite all states, provinces and regions around the world to join us and report their climate actions to the Compact of States and Regions,” concludes Libby Ferguson.
“This will allow us to track progress and further accelerate bottom-up climate action. At the same time, it incentivizes governments to improve their emissions management and communicate their progress to the wider public.”
The data collected in the Compact will compose a second edition of the Compact Disclosure Report, which will be released toward the end of 2016, featuring all new reporting governments. The report will also further showcase the huge economic opportunities of tackling climate change, while highlighting successful adaptation measures from state and regional governments.
Carl Sargeant, Minister for Natural Resources, Welsh Government, says: “With a challenge as serious as climate change and an opportunity as great as green growth, I believe there is a fundamental need for transparency and people should know how their governments and different sectors are delivering,” comments
Premier Jay Weatherill of South Australia says: “We have already been at the forefront of climate leadership for many years, setting ambitious climate and clean energy targets, and developing new and innovative policy responses. If we are already having this impact with 44 reporting governments, imagine what we can do with more.”
By Marine Puech