The Under2 Coalition is a group at the subnational level, which represents states, provinces, regions and cities from six continents with a joint commitment to an ambitious climate protection policy. Since its inception, the Under2 Coalition has acquired more and more members. The number of states and regions that have signed the Under2 Memorandum of Understanding (Under2 MOU) exceeds now 220. The Under2 Coalition thus represents more than 1.3 billion people from more than 40 countries on six continents and almost 43 percent of the global economy.
This article provides an overview of the objectives and contents of the Under2 Coalition, the background and the development of the alliance, the role of Baden-Württemberg and of the different projects of the coalition.
Purpose and intent
The basis of the Under2 Coalition is a signed memorandum of understanding (Under2 MOU) drawn up by California and Baden-Württemberg in advance of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21) in 2015. It contains the central targets of the coalition and represents the fundament for further cooperation of the members. It builds on existing international agreements of the subnational level such the Montreal Declaration (2005), the Cancún Statement (2010) and the Lyon Declaration (2011) as well as the Rio Declaration (1992) and the Paris Agreement (2015).
The following fold-out box provides an insight into the Under2 MOU. You can also find out where the name “Under2” stems from:
Background and Development of the Under2 Coalition
In the past, the United Nations Climate Change Conferences were dominated exclusively by nation states as Parties to the convention or signatory states. Jurisdictions at the subnational level did not play an active role. However, a growing number of states, regions and cities were unsatisfied with this status and looked for ways to take an active part in international climate protection.
States and regions are in many cases responsible for the development and implementation of policies that have the largest impact on the climate. They have authority over fields such as air quality, transportation, energy, the built environment, or research and technology. According to the United Nations Development Programme, regional and local governments can influence 50 to 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
As a signatory of the Under2 MOU, Baden-Württemberg joined other regions in sending out a clear message to the public at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 and subsequent climate conferences. Baden-Württemberg and California successfully drew attention to the role of subnational governments in climate protection.
Now participation at the subnational level is seen as critically import to the success of the Paris Climate Agreement. However, many efforts were required for this to come about:
: COP25 in Madrid: General Assembly
The General Assembly of the Under2 Coalition is held at the margins of the climate change conference COP25 in Madrid in Spain.
Activities of the Under2 Coalition
The Under2 Coalition has not only set itself ambitious targets, it also implements climate action. For this purpose, three workstreams have been defined:
- 2050 Pathways: Members support each other in drafting long-term decarbonisation strategies with a time horizon until 2050.
- Policy Action: By sharing experiences and implementing concrete projects, the Under2 Coalition spreads best practices, innovative solutions and lessons learned around the globe.
- Transparency: Regional governments are supported to accurately and adequately record and report their greenhouse gas emissions. This way, they can review and improve their climate mitigation and adaptation measures.
The following fold-out box includes further information on the different workstreams and the project work. It also contains information on the Future Fund of the Under2 Coalition.
Phone: 0049 711 126-1851