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Climate Commitments of Subnational Actors and Business

A Qunatitative Assessment of their Emission Reduction Impact

image of Climate Commitments of Subnational Actors and Business

This report present a quantitative assessment of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mitigation impact in 2020 of current non-state climate action. Its focus is initiatives with the potential to be large scale. The report predicts that over the next few years, new targets for the post 2020 period will be agreed by existing and new members of initiatives. Thus any quantification now for post 2020 would likely lead to an underestimate of the contribution from initiatives. The total calculated impact represents the GHG emission reduction and takes into account overlaps between initiatives. It also estimates to what extent the emission reductions are additional to those achieved through climate action of national governments.

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Initiatives of cities and regions

Cities are central to the world’s efforts to address the threat of climate change. The IPCC estimates that urban areas account for 71–76% of energy-related CO2 emissions and that the world’s cities produce almost half (37–49%) of all global greenhouse gases (Christ, 2014). City initiatives enable participating cities or mayors to lead, show their national governments the extent of actions they are already undertaking and to positively influence national level strategies and policies. The initiatives cover all sizes of towns and cities. Similarly, at the subnational level, various forms of decentralisation offer subnational governments the responsibility to plan and establish their own (institutional) mechanisms to approach climate change mitigation. Subnational jurisdictions, such as state or regional governments, have even attempted to compensate for the lack of political will at the national level (Somanathan et al., 2014).

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