On Tuesday at COP23, 16 new jurisdictions from around the world were announced to the Under2 Coalition, a global pact of state and regional governments committed to tackling climate change and implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.
Earlier this week it was announced that the US state of Virginia had committed to the Under2 Coalition, amidst the hoopla surrounding the publication of Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg’s ‘America Pledge’ initiative. However, fast-forward a couple of days and the Under2 Coalition reveals that a total of 16 new jurisdictions had joined the Coalition, bringing the total number of committed parties to 205 from across 43 countries that collectively represent 1.3 billion of the world’s population, and almost 40% of global GDP.
The Under2 Coalition, which was formed in 2015 with 12 founding members, announced its new members at an event hosted in the German Pavilion at COP23. They include two national endorsers (Armenia and Chile), one state endorser (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and 13 state and regional signatories, including Wallonia (Belgium), Attica (Greece), three Armenian territories (Ararat, Shirak and Kotayk), two Mexican states (Colima and Querétaro), two Ecuadorian provinces (Azuay and Pastaza), two Peruvian regions (Amazonas and Huánuco), Santa Fe (Argentina) and Caquetá (Colombia).
“2 degrees: this makes the difference between a climate change, to which we can adapt, and a climate change that will fundamentally alter life on our planet,” explained President Winfried Kretschmann, Baden-Württemberg and Europe Co-Chair of the Under2 Coalition. “Mankind simply cannot afford to fail in reaching the goals we have defined for ourselves in the Paris climate accord. It makes me very happy that so many partners worldwide have recognized the need for decisive action.”
“More than 200 regions worldwide have joined the alliance initiated jointly by California and Baden-Württemberg in order to give more power and effectiveness to climate protection at a regional level. It is possible to start and implement concrete measures locally in the regions. This is urgently needed, because a progressive climate change would result in dramatic consequences for the habitat of humans, animals and plants. We must change course and turn the tide!”
“The announcement today is that we are over 200 strong and well over a billion people, added California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., COP 23 Special Advisor for States Regions. “This is big, but it’s not big enough — we have to have the whole world on board. This is the way the world will deal with this pollution where no one is in charge but everyone is responsible.”
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