Commitments from governments representing 100 million people puts pressure on nations to act boldly at Paris Climate Conference
Washington state today joined as a founding signatory to an agreement of states and provinces from developed and developing nations calling for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
The “Under 2 MOU,” as the agreement signed today is known, was spearheaded by California Gov. Jerry Brown and Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The agreement name refers to the jurisdictions’ commitments to reduce emissions to limit global warming to less than 2°C by the end of this century.
In addition to Washington Governor Jay Inslee, the other founding signatories include leaders from the U.S. states of California and Oregon, Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, Mexican states of Baja California and Jalisco, Acre (Brazil), Baden-Württemberg (Germany), Catalonia (Spain), and Wales (U.K.). In the coming months, this core group will be reaching out to other jurisdictions around the world to join the effort and galvanize momentum toward meaningful action at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) taking place in Paris in December 2015.
Details of the agreement, including an appendix by Washington is available at Under2MOU.org. Washington’s commitments include:
- Updating the state’s limits on carbon pollution to reflect the latest science
- Ending coal-fired electricity generation in Washington and reducing use of coal-fired power imported from other states
- Increased building energy efficiency and renewable energy
- More zero-emission vehicles, cleaner fuels and transit
- Establishing a carbon pollution market program
“Acting to reduce carbon pollution requires bold action at every level, and many of these actions must be done by local and state governments,” Inslee said. “Today we join jurisdictions representing more than 100 million people and more than $4.5 trillion GDP asking the world community to do its part and take decisive action this year.”
British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington are also signatories to the 2013 Pacific Coast Collaborative Action Plan on Climate and Energy, in which they agreed to work together to ensure a visionary and decisive global agreement of nations this year. The Under 2 MOU represents an important first tangible step advancing that goal.