Carbon reduction commitments from cities, states and businesses could significantly exceed those of global nations.
That’s according to a new report put together by experts at Data-Driven Yale, NewClimate Institute, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and CDP, which says by 2030, global greenhouse gas emissions could be up to 2.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents lower if individual commitments from nearly 6,000 cities, states and regions and more than 2,000 companies are fully implemented.
This is compared to what could be achieved through national policies currently underway and amounts to roughly double Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2016.
In the US, the full implementation of quantified individual city, region and company commitments could provide at least half of the emissions reductions needed to meet the nation’s vetoed Paris Agreement pledge.
In the EU, city, region and company commitments could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 445 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents a year, roughly equivalent to Italy’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2016.
In China, these actions could reduce emissions by up to 150 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, roughly equivalent to what the country’s industrial processes generated in 2014.
Mark Roelfsema of PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said: “Our analysis includes only recorded, quantified commitments – a fraction of all of cities, regions, companies and cooperative initiatives’ climate activities.
“However, there’s also a risk that these emission reductions do not materialise, if regions, states, cities and companies don’t deliver on their promises, or if efforts from national governments or other actors slow.”