Governments of The Climate Group's States and Regions Alliance support new global Clean Revolution Campaign

19 June 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO: Premiers and ministers of The Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance have pledged commitment to the newly launched Clean Revolution Campaign and agreed future actions in their States and Regions Clean Revolution Statement to accelerate the green economy at their General Assembly during the Rio+20 summit.

Launched on June 18 in Rio, the Clean Revolution calls for a swift scale-up of clean technology and investment in green infrastructure. Globally there are currently more than 5 million jobs in renewable energy industries. Earlier this week The Climate Group said that by the end of the decade the low carbon market could triple in value to over US$2 trillion and warned that failure to seize the opportunity would cause economies to fall behind in the global marketplace. The governments supporting the Declaration represent over 100 million people.

The states and regions commitment focuses on four key areas of policy and technology needed to drive the Clean Revolution forward: efficient and new energy vehicles, SMART technology, energy efficient lighting systems and renewable energy. The commitment includes adopting individual targets where possible towards at least 20% reduction of CO2 emissions in public buildings, and encouraging the scale-up of low-carbon lighting - in particular LEDs and smart controls.

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, says: “The Clean Revolution Campaign sets out a clear vision of how we can tackle the global recession and climate change. Just 24 hours after it was launched at Rio it has the backing of government leaders from the world’s states and regions. The speed and depth of their commitment should be an inspiration to world leaders gathering in Rio, and proof yet again that the green economy is the only solution to the critical challenges we are facing that delivers both sustainability and prosperity. The leadership of these heads of states and regions should be applauded.”

“The Basque country is truly proud to be a supporter of the Clean Revolution, one of the most ambitious global initiatives in support of a low carbon economy. Cutting emissions and supporting the green economy is a key commitment for the Basque country, with active support for public-private partnerships and concrete measures and initiatives already in place in our Sustainable Development Strategy EcoEuskadi2020. We aim to be an active player in fostering relations between the world’s states and regions, exchanging best practices and expanding the network of regional low carbon leaders globally." Said Minister Pilar Unzalu, the Basque Government's Minister for the Environment, Land Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries and Co-Chair of The Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance.

A new report; The Clean Revolution: Leadership from the World’s States and Regions, showcases some of the most ambitious and transformational measures being implemented by states and regional governments around the world. Details of Clean Revolution best practice across states and regions, as well as future commitments states and regions have pledged to meet, can also be found below.

The report was launched by The Climate Group with support from Zennstrom Philanthropies and the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Further case studies of low carbon best practice can be viewed in The Clean Revolution: Leadership from the World’s States and Regions which is available online.

Hosting the signing alongside The Climate Group were the co-chairs of States and Regions Alliance: Premier Charest of Quebec, Minister Unzalu of the Basque Country and Minister Caica from South Australia and Christiana Figueres the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Details of Clean Revolution best practice report across states and regions around the world: 

  • North Rhine Westphalia have currently achieved a 13% reduction in emissions since 1990.
  • South Australia’s AUS$2 million Building Innovation Fund offers grants for retrofitting initiatives that demonstrate new and leading-edge approaches, with the potential to improve a building's energy use and reduce GHG emissions.
  • Upper Austria’sOekoenergie-Cluster (OEC), a network of companies active in renewable energy and energy efficiency, has grown from €230 million in 2000 to €1.8 billion in 2012, exporting to more than 60 countries worldwide and contributing 4% alone to the state’s GDP.
  • Manitoba’s hydropower resources currently deliver 97.4% of their energy.
  • In 2009, São Paulo became the first state from an emerging economy to enact climate legislation.
  • Between 2008 and 2013, Île-de-France, along with the French national government, will have invested €2.7 million in rehabilitating six of the 30 geothermal installations still in use, and developing six new state-of-the-art plants to boost geothermal energy production in the region.
  • By the end of 2010, South Australia had attracted 86% of Australia’s total AUS$680 million estimated investment in geothermal exploration and proof of concept projects. 
  • Gujarat remains the only Indian state to form a climate change department in government, reducing electricity transmission losses from 31% to 22% in four years [no indication of exact time period].
  • Quintana Roo’s collaborative REDD+ Strategy is one of the first efforts to combine tropical forest management with the promotion of agriculture and other land use activities, especially important since it is operating in the second most heavily deforested area in Latin America.
  • Since 2003, New York has participated in the development and implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the US’s first cap and trade program collaborating alongside eight partner US states and Canadian provinces.
  • Baden-Württemberg has opted for the formation of 32 Regional Energy Agencies (REA) across the state, giving each €100,000 seed funding giving communities the opportunity to convene consumers, craftsmen, banks and citizens’ groups, creating networks to support joint effort.
  • Catalonia’s Voluntary Agreements Programme for reducing GHG emissions is open to diverse organizations (companies, institutions, public administrations, associations and foundations) with 59 participating organizations from a range of sectors, committed to monitoring emissions and enacting reduction measures beyond that required by legislation.
  • The Basque Country has two functioning schemes: one for voluntary reductions in industrial and services companies with more than 40 companies are involved, and another for the Local Agenda network where there are almost 200 municipalities with Local Action Plans.
  • Rhône-Alpes is part of the EFFINERGIE project, which creates a voluntary label for the certification of new, low-carbon buildings which was three times more demanding than national regulation.
  • Bavaria’s Energy Innovative commits to the expansion of renewable sources, the extension of energy networks and storage systems, the optimization of heat and energy generation and use, the retrofitting of buildings, low-carbon mobility and investment in green jobs and climate change adaptation. Ambitious for a state which already has the lowest per capita energy emissions in Germany.
  • La Reunion’s Regional Council is giving €3,000 (an “Energy Cheque”) to households for the installation of photovoltaic panels with a smart storage battery, so far installing some 2050 smart boxes to help families manage their real-time energy consumption.
  • In Wales, the arbed program used an initial £60 million investment to provide: solid wall insulation to nearly 2,900 social and private homes; over 1,800 solar PV panels in social housing and solar hot water to 1,000 households including several sheltered housing schemes. A further £6.6 million has been invested to expand the program and £3 million has been reinvested.

Future commitments:

  • Scotland’s Routemap commits it to producing 30% new renewable energy and 100% renewable electricity by 2020
  • Harnessing just a third of available offshore renewable energy potential could meet Scotland’s electricity needs seven times over by 2050, with the net value of electricity sales estimated at £14 billion by 2050.
  • By 2020, Quebec aims for 25% of new light passenger vehicle sales to be for plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles, reducing GHG emissions by 900,000 tons, and a total of 3.5 million tons by 2030.
  • California’s Advanced Clean Cars program requires the one out of seven new vehicle sales be zero-emission by 2025 (40% of California’s emissions come from transport)
  • Jämtland’s target is to be fossil fuel free by 2030
  • Guangdong’s ambitious SEI Development plan became the only one so far approved by the Chinese government.
  • Brittany’s Pacte électrique Breton – PEB commits to cutting growth in energy consumption by a third and producing 3,600 megawatts of renewable energy, including solar, marine, wind and biomass.
  • KwaZulu-Natal has developed a comprehensive Green Economy Strategy to guide action made on a local and provincial scale, leveraging green economy initiatives by developing a Green Procurement Policy that favours purchasing from green companies, with special interest to SMMEs.
  • Ontario passed a new regulation in 2011 to reduce the climate impact of its Broader Public Sector (BPS), with organizations required to report on energy use and GHG emissions beginning July 1, 2013, and develop energy conservation plans beginning July 1, 2014.

The states and regions that signed the commitment are:
Basque Country (Spain) Brittany (France) Catalonia (Spain) Ile de France(France)
La Reunion (France) Manitoba (Canada) Quebec (Canada) Quintana Roo (Mexico)
Rhone-Alpes (France) State of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Sao Paulo (Brazil) Scotland (UK)
South Australia (Australia) Wales (UK) Wallonia(Belgium) Kwa Zulu Natal (South Africa)*
North Rhine Westphalia (Germany)*
* North Rhine Westphalia (Germany) and Kwa Zulu Natal (South Africa) support the statement in principle.

Additionally, at the World Summit of States and Regions, the Carbon Disclosure Project, R20 - Regions of Climate Action and The Climate Group, announced today that they are collaborating to create a Subnational Climate Reporting Program as there is a clear need for subnational governments to consistently benchmark, monitor and report their climate actions. Nine state and regional governments from around the world have expressed their interest in participating.

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