Daily Planet

World’s first global climate analytics tool for states and regions launched at COP23

The world’s first global analytics tool for states and regions to measure, manage and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions has been launched at the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn.

The States and Regions Climate Action Tracker – developed by CDP and The Climate Group, in partnership with Climate-KIC’s flagship initiative the Low Carbon City Lab (LoCaL) aims to profile the increasingly important role of state and regional governments in understanding their environmental impact and meeting international climate change commitments.

The tracker covers 110 states and regions, representing over 650 million people, US $13 trillion in GDP and over 3.8 GtCO2e, and will also demonstrate how climate data is fundamental to stabilising emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

On track for 2020, but not 2050

CDP developed the tracker to explore how emissions of states and regions change over time. It 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 commitments. This demonstrates that present 2020 targets are sufficient to put states and regions on course to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement by 2020, but this is not the case for their 2050 targets.

The launch of the Tracker coincides with a new report – Annual Disclosure 2017 – produced by The Climate Group, that shows sub-national governments took 80 per cent more climate actions in 2017, across ten sectors, including buildings, energy, transport and land use. On average, there was an 8.5 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the state and regional governments’ base years.

Enabling climate action in cities and regions

The tracker aims to support States and Regions in better understanding their emissions but more importantly identifying where and how they can reduce them. Creating a consistent database also favours benchmarking and exchange of good practices. Through LoCaL’s City Finance Lab, a dedicated expert support mechanisms for subnational on financial issues has been created, where subnational governments can receive help in setting and scaling innovative financial mechanisms.

Victor Gancel, Programme Manager, LoCaL said “A significant share of our remaining carbon budget is affected by investment decisions made in the next three years at subnational level. LoCaL addresses this in an integrated manner : we increase subnational authorities capabilities in identifying levers of change, structure them into bankable investment opportunities and finally connect them to investors. The Compact of States and Regions platform will increase its members understanding of their emissions as well as foster benchmarking and knowledge-sharing in a vibrant partnership of 110 regional governments”.

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group said: “The 2017 Annual Disclosure Update shows that states and regions are now moving into the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and are key players in its delivery. Knowing what other governments have done reinforces the case for action, with visible progress being made against headline commitments and targets. This proves that we can continue to raise ambition and drive the world to an under 2°C economy without delay.”

Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP said: “This momentum is both driving up standards of climate leadership and putting transparency and accountability at the heart of government environmental action. Now we need to see longer-term targets from states and regions to ensure their ambition is aligned with limiting global warming to well-below 2°C.”

The Low Carbon City Lab (LoCaL) is creating a project and partner ecosystem to accelerate bankable climate action in cities and regions. It supports cities by raising their capabilities in project design and financial structuring, developing catalytic mechanisms for a pipeline of projects that scout, test and scale innovative funding mechanisms. You can find out more at http://local.climate-kic.org.