Following Paris Climate Agreement, The Subnational Fight Against Climate Change Continues

While California emits around 1 percent of the world's greenhouse gases, the state is playing a leading role in broadening collaboration among subnational leaders and taking action to reduce emissions worldwide. By 2030, California will reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels, the most aggressive goal in North America. By that same date, the state will increase the electricity derived from renewable sources to 50 percent, reduce car and truck petroleum use up to 50 percent and double statewide energy savings.

Furthering this leadership role of subnational governments in combating climate change, California will host the first Subnational-Clean Energy Ministerial (Sub-CEM) on June 1 and 2 in San Francisco.

Sub-CEM is open to minister-level representatives from subnational jurisdictions such as cities, states and regions that have signed or endorsed the Under 2 MOU. The Under 2 MOU, which originated in 2015 from a partnership between California and Baden-Württemberg, is an agreement by subnational jurisdictions to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be catastrophic climate disruptions. The Sub-CEM gathering will be occurring alongside the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), an annual meeting of national energy ministers and other delegates from CEM member countries and the European Commission.

The Sub-CEM will feature keynote speeches and panel discussions focused on the role of subnational entities in accelerating the deployment of clean energy resources and ensuring the more efficient use of energy. Governors and ministers will have the opportunity to engage with each other as well as national energy ministers. They will have access to the clean energy technology showcase, featuring some of the world’s leading clean energy providers, and related trade and investment opportunities.

Both Sub-CEM and CEM build on the momentum from GHG emission reduction commitments made last year at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris and in the Under 2 MOU. The gatherings provide the opportunity for attendees to exchange information and collaborate on solutions that advance clean energy on a global scale and demonstrate follow-up actions.

This year’s Sub-CEM meeting builds on the momentum from Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s visit to Paris last year, where he welcomed a total of 58 new signatories to the Under 2 MOU. So far, 128 jurisdictions representing 28 countries and six continents have now signed or endorsed the Under 2 MOU, representing more than 740 million people and $20.7 trillion in gross domestic product, equivalent to more than a quarter of the global economy.

Last year, Governor Brown also traveled to the Vatican in Italy, the United Nations in New York and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, Canada to call on other leaders to join California in the fight against climate change. Governor Brown also joined an unprecedented alliance of heads of state, city and state leaders—convened by the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund—to urge countries and companies around the globe to put a price on carbon. These efforts build on a number of other international climate change agreements with leaders from the Netherlands, Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel, Peru and Chile and Governor Brown's efforts to convene hundreds of world-renowned researchers and scientists around a groundbreaking call to action.

More information about Sub-CEM and how to get involved can be found here.

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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