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Cities & Subnationals


Almost three quarters of global GHG emissions are emitted on urban territories. Cities are therefore key to addressing and adapting to climate change by adopting a low-carbon, resilient economies. Many cities are leading - and so are many subnational governments - in cutting emissions and greening infrastructures. Photo ©Wyliepoon

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Website: Under 2 MOU
Contact: Anne.Janzen@um.bwl.de Government of Baden-Wurttemberg; Laura.Carr@opr.ca.gov, Government of California

The Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding – also known as the Under 2 MOU - is an initiative that commits subnational governments to adopt emission reduction targets in line with the best available science, thereby helping to raise the international level of ambition to tackle climate change at COP21 in Paris.

Each member commits to limit emissions to below eighty to ninety-five percent by 2050 below 1990 levels, or below two metric tons per capita by 2050. This is the level of emission reductions believed to be necessary to limit global warming to less than 2°C by the end of this century.

The Under 2 MOU originated from a partnership between the state of California, in the United States, and the state of Baden-Württemberg, in Germany. To date, more than 50 states, provinces, regions, and cities, and nations across 19 countries and five continents have joined signed or endorsed the Under 2 MOU, ranging from Jalisco in Mexico and Acre in Brazil to Wales in the UK and the city of Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province, China. Collectively, the supporters of the MOU represent a population over 520 million people and more than $14.8 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP). If the signatories represented a single country, it would be the world's second largest economy behind only the United States.

Signatories to the MOU intend to reach their emissions reduction goals by:

  • Developing mid-term targets needed to support long-term targets;
  • Sharing technology, scientific research and best practices;
  • Collaborating to expand the use of zero-emission vehicles;
  • Taking steps to ensure consistent monitoring and reporting;
  • Improving air quality by reducing short-lived climate pollutants;
  • Assessing the projected impacts of climate change on communities;

Under 2 MOU signatories have also committed to recruiting additional global partners ahead of COP21.

Photo credit: Pixagraphic (Flickr)

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