NEW YORK: Norway has become the latest country to endorse the Under2 Coalition – the global pact of national and sub-national governments committed to ambitious climate targets – after a special signing ceremony in California on Wednesday.
The Coalition, for which The Climate Group acts as Secretariat, brings together cities, states and national governments committed to reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions toward net-zero by 2050 and supporting the Paris Climate Agreement.
Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and the Environment, Norway joined California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. at the ceremony in Sacramento. The Coalition is now endorsed by 16 countries.
Helgesen said: “Norway is very pleased to join the coalition of forward leaning states and countries in the Under2 Coalition, and is prepared to contribute financially and otherwise to the implementation of this important initiative.”
The Under2 Coalition now includes 177 jurisdictions on six continents that collectively represent more than 1.2 billion people and US$28.8 trillion GDP – equivalent to over 16% of the global population and 39% of the global economy.
The Coalition was founded in 2015 by California and the German state of Baden-Württemberg to galvanize ambitious climate action from sub-national governments in the build up to the COP21 climate summit when the historic Paris Agreement was reached.
Signatories make a public commitment to reduce their GHG emissions by 80-95% on 1990 levels, or 2 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent per capita, by 2050.
Governor Brown said: “In the face of irreversible climate change, the world’s cities, states and countries must decarbonize and get on a sustainable path. California is proud to partner with Norway in this fight.”
Last month, on the eve of the G20 Summit, Governor Brown announced that California will convene the world’s climate leaders in San Francisco in September 2018 for the Global Climate Action Summit, where representatives from sub-national governments, businesses, investors and civil society will gather with the direct goal of supporting the Paris Agreement.