COP18: Leading sub-national governments showcase how to close the mitigation gap

5 December 2012

DOHA: Yesterday leading sub-national governments from Africa, the Americas and Europe showcased how they are overcoming the international political challenges around climate mitigation, at our COP18 side-event with the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD).

The event connected speakers from the private sector as well as ministers from regions such as Ontario, Kwazulu-Natal and Sao Paulo State, who discussed their individual actions, and how public-private partnerships can accelerate climate progress.

Participants shared experiences of engaging the private sector on clean technology at the sub-national level, such as Charles Larochelle, Assistant Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Air and Water, Quebec. He spoke of the region’s plan to deploy 300,000 electric vehicles by 2020, which he said will go some way towards closing Canada’s emissions gap.

The climate mitigation efforts of Uganda's Mbale were explained by Ben Otim, Chief Administrative Officer, Mbale, who said that his government is focusing on biogas, forestry and sustainable land use.

Next, a specific government scheme on voluntary mitigation commitments from companies was highlighted by Josep Enric Llebot Rabagliati, Secretary for Environment and Sustainability, Catalonia.

Philippe Henry, Minister for Environment, Spatial Planning and Mobility, Wallonia analyzed what is necessary for a ‘paradigm shift’ on financing and energy demand to reach 80% emissions reduction by 2050 in Wallonia, of which will be underpinned by a new climate law in the following weeks.

Applauding the impact of such work by sub-national governments on the international arena – including COP negotiations - John Griffiths, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Wales, explained the strengths of the Welsh Climate Change Strategy, as well as the sustainable development bill which was launched last week.

Pointing out how cities are leading the way alongside sub-national governments, Paul Simpson, CEO, Carbon Disclosure Project also mentioned the organization’s newly planned reporting platform for states and regions, which was announced with The Climate Group at Rio+20, as well as their increased work with the private sector.

Luc Bas, Director of European Programs and International States and Regions, The Climate Group said: “As we saw at this exceptional UNFCCC side-event today, owing to their responsibility in the various areas such as energy or transport, state and regional governments can have a great emission-reducing impact and are critical to closing the climate mitigation gap.

"Today sub-national governments had a chance to share best practise in overcoming barriers to mitigation, offering some inspiring solutions. Like the work of our States and Regions Alliance, the innovative, transformative work of bold sub-national leaders will hopefully inspire the international negotiations and accelerate us towards a clean revolution.”

Photo courtesy of IISD.

Watch this video of Bruno Covas, Environment Secretary, São Paulo, which was screened at the event:


If you enioyed this, look out for articles this week by our Senior Policy Manager Damian Ryan who is writing news and analysis and live-tweeting throughout COP18, and providing a more in-depth post-COP Briefing after the events. Keep up to date on our website and by following him on Twitter during COP18. 

In the run up to and during Doha we are also posting a series of articles featuring analysis from our teams in the USEurope, India and Australia on their nations' COP negotiating positions.

Follow a live feed from COP18 below.


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