The USA play an important role in Baden-Württemberg's international relations. Regular exchanges of experience and information at the technical level are supported by political discussions and agreements. Cooperation, especially in the field of climate protection, is gaining more and more importance. The mutual strengthening and support of climate-driven regions and US states, such as California, is of particular importance.
Baden-Württemberg and California have initiated in close cooperation the "Under2 MOU" climate protection agreement, which was signed in May 2015 by Prime Minister Kretschmann and Governor Edmund G. Brown together with 10 other founding members in Sacramento, California.
The guiding principle of the two initiators Baden-Württemberg and California is to encourage the subnational level to actively pursue climate protection. By signing the Under2 MOU, one declares the willingness to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to less than 2 tons per capita and year by 2050. Thus limiting global warming to below 2 degrees through individual self-determined measures and projects identified in an appendix.
Closer cooperation against climate change sind 2014
Minister Franz Untersteller had already visited California in July 2014. In addition to the international trade fair Intersolar, discussions with Governor Brown, other cabinet members, environmental agencies and environmental organizations as well as German and American companies were part of the program. During this visit Minister Untersteller and Governor Brown agreed to work closer together on actions against climate change, which formed the basis of the Under2 MOU.
On December 9, 2015, Prime Minister Kretschmann and Minister Untersteller traveled to the World Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21). In the German Pavilion they welcomed 43 new signatories of the Under2 MOU together with the parliamentary undersecretary Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter from the Federal Ministry of the Environment and Governor Brown from California.
On June 1 and 2, 2016, all Under2 MOU members were invited to the first official subnational congressional event in California. They discussed the continuation of the initiative, the coordination and cooperation in the development and expansion of renewable energies, power supply and low carbon transportation and zero emission vehicles.
At the invitation of the German Consulate General and the New York University, Minister Franz Untersteller spoke on Baden-Württemberg's climate protection policy at New York City's NYU Law School on October 2nd, 2017. In talks with representatives of various environmental associations and foundations, as well as representatives of the state of New York, this visit further enhanced climate protection at subnational level.
In November 2017, the general assembly of the Under2 MOU signatories, now acting under the name Under2 Coalition, met in Bonn as part of the World Climate Change Conference (COP 23). At the German Pavilion, an event on the Under2 MOU prepared by the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy with the participation of Minister Untersteller, Governor Brown and Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister of the Environment took place.