Regional leaders commit to cut emissions by more than China's annual output

Madeleine Cuff

Leading state and regional governments pledge to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 12.4GT by 2030

A collection of leading state and regional governments around the world yesterday announced plans to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by more than China's annual carbon output by 2030.

The governments are members of the Compact of States and Regions, a UN-backed initative which encourages regional governments to submit climate targets. They have pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 12.4GT of CO2 equivalent by 2030 - more than China's total emissions in 2012. By 2050 the group has promised to cut its emissions by 47.4GT of CO2 equivalent.

The Compact was launched in September 2014 and now has 44 regional and state governments as members - including US states such as New York and California. Together the government's represent 325 million people and oversee more than $10.5tr in GDP.

The latest climate targets were unveiled in Paris on Sunday alongside the Compact's first Disclosure Report, which is the first comprehensive analysis of climate action from states, provinces, and regions around the world.

The report details the near-term and long-term carbon reduction goals set by signatories to the compact and reveals almost half of the reporting governments have set 2050 carbon targets, with most aiming to cut emissions by more than 70 per cent below their baseline year.

Speaking at the report launch yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the efforts of cities and governments are crucial in the fight against climate change.

"The actions of state and regional governments are essential for achieving the new 2030 sustainable development agenda," he said in a statement. "They are close to their citizens and are uniquely placed to work with national and local governments to amplify the efforts that are needed to reduce emissions and build climate resilience."

This article is part of BusinessGreen's Road to Paris hub, hosted in association with PwC.

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