How states and regions are taking action on climate change
States and regions are making vital progress in helping drive the transition towards a sustainable economy.
Our vision is for a thriving economy that works for people and planet in the long term. The Paris Agreement and evolving market forces are moving us towards a tipping point that will help protect us from climate change. But, to reach that point we need critical shifts in financial capital, policy, strong leadership, innovation and ongoing measurement, transparency and accountability.
CDP is working in partnership with The Climate Group to provide the world’s first global platform for states and regions to measure, manage and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions. CDP and The Climate Group are united in their firm belief on the vital role that state and regional governments play in driving climate action and delivering sustainable economies that avoid dangerous climate change and leads to a net-zero emissions world.
State and regional government climate data is fundamental to delivering the Paris Agreement. Data drives CDP’s analytical benchmarking, commitment tracking and management. Furthermore, it’s fundamental to The Climate Group’s government networks, peer learning, policy innovation and promotion of climate leadership.
Together with the support of Climate-KIC Low Carbon City Lab, we have developed the world’s first global analytics tools for states and regions designed to support decision-making and improve emissions management for sub-national governments.
This year our analysis is based on 110 states and regions. Our analysis aims to showcase how states and regions are taking action on climate change. They represent over 650 million people, US $13 trillion in GDP and over 3.8 GtCO2e.
We are nearing a tipping point on climate action with a 57% increase in the number of states and regions disclosing region-wide emissions reduction targets since 2015 – the critical first step towards climate action.
Using the data that states and regions disclosed to CDP, we estimate that those that disclosed both a region-wide GHG emissions reduction target and a GHG inventory, are on course to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement by 2020.
We incorporated the 2017 International Energy Agency scenarios to explore how collective emissions of states and regions change over time. This shows that disclosing states and regions are on average setting more ambitious targets than those set by their national counterparts. If states and regions meet their 2020 emissions reduction targets, collective emissions would be 0.3 GtCO2e lower when compared to emission projections based on current national level commitments. This demonstrates that present 2020 targets are sufficient to put states and regions on a trajectory for a 2 degree Celsius world.
The 57% increase in states and regions disclosing their emissions reduction targets is encouraging. When compared to the national level commitments to cut GHG emissions, projected GHG emissions would result to cumulative savings of 21.9 GtCO2e in 2050.
However, attention must turn to mid and long-term targets to meet the objectives set in the Paris Agreement. This year, long-term targets only account for 36% of the total disclosed region-wide emissions reduction targets.
There is a need for more ambitious 2050 targets as current focus on short-term targets means emissions reduction levels are insufficient to keep the world below a 2 degree rise after 2020.
Disclosing states and regions are performing better than last year with 73% reporting emissions levels below their reported base year – up from 67.5% in 2016. Six governments have either met or surpassed their 2020 targets and four governments are already over 80% towards reaching their goals.
An increasing number of states and regions are developing new policies as well as collaborating and sharing information to help build the low-carbon economy. 80% more climate actions have been disclosed since 2016.
States and regions over the world are taking ambitious climate action whilst building greater resilience and stronger economies.
CDP provides the tools for meaningful action helping states and regions make informed choices for a sustainable economy. By disclosing to CDP, together we can achieve the goals of The Paris Agreement and transform the pace and scale of the transition to a well below 2 degree world.