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Posted by Administrator (icsusa) on Oct 07 2017
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NEW YORK: The impact from the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement could be significantly mitigated thanks to the determined action demonstrated by US states, cities and businesses – a new report shows.
The findings from the report, entitled ‘States, cities and businesses leading the way: a first look at decentralized climate commitments in the US’ authored by NewClimate Institute and The Climate Group and powered by CDPdata, show that the US can already meet half of its climate commitments under the Paris Agreement by 2025, if the 342 commitments included in the analysis are implemented.
This report provides the first steps in helping to quantify the contribution of states, cities and business to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions. As more and more commitments emerge, further analysis will be undertaken  within the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), where this work originated.
Launched today at the Climate Week NYC Opening Ceremony, Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group, organizers of Climate Week NYC, said: “US states, cities and businesses are not waiting for the US federal government to make its position clear on Paris. This new report clearly highlights their unwavering commitment to climate leadership. Importantly, it shows us that climate action is not solely dependent on the actions of national government. US states, cities and businesses have the power to mitigate the consequences of a full Paris pull out.
“At Climate Week NYC, we are highlighting the unstoppable force of action from business and government in tackling climate change, and how this can drive innovation, jobs and prosperity for all – our central theme for the week. Through our work with businesses, states and regions, we will continue to drive the implementation of these goals, so that we can keep global warming well below 2°C.”
In the report, the analysis shows that because of their leadership and size, large states such as New York, California and Colorado are making the largest contribution to projected greenhouse gas reductions. In fact, US states alone deliver more than two thirds of the total estimated emissions reductions. However, cities are more ambitious (average of 22% GHG reduction between 2015 and 2025) and crucial for the implementation of specific actions. Businesses currently have the steepest targets, aiming for a 25% reduction in the next ten years.
“Strikingly, there are more reasons to believe that the calculated impact of states, cities and businesses in the report is currently underestimated rather than overestimated”, said Prof. Dr. Niklas Höhne from NewClimate Institute, one of the authors. “We only included currently recorded and quantified commitments and the actors represented in this report currently only represent 44% of total US emissions. Much more action is happening that is not yet recorded or formulated in a quantified way.”
For example, global climate initiatives, such as the Under 2 Coalition, for which The Climate Group acts as Secretariat, and the organization’s RE100 campaign have not yet been fully included in the study although they serve to support individual actors and subnational governments to take on more ambitious climate action, and report on progress.
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr, said: “Cities, states and businesses are stepping up and taking action to reduce the threat of catastrophic climate change.”
Taking place between September 18-24 in New York City, Climate Week NYC is one of the key summits in the international calendar and has been driving climate action since it was first launched by The Climate Group in 2009. The summit annually takes place alongside the UN General Assembly and brings together international leaders from business, government and civil society to showcase the unstoppable momentum of global climate action. More about this year’s event can be found here.
Other initiatives, including America’s Pledge, are also planning to compile and quantify efforts from U.S. states, cities, businesses and other actors to address climate change in alignment with the Paris Agreement.

Last changed: Oct 07 2017 at 3:59 PM