13 September 2018 | Global Climate Action Summit
To accelerate climate policy efforts across North America, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Climate Alliance launched the North American Climate Leadership Dialogue at COP23, identifying a short list of topics to be addressed. Delivering on that promise for closer cooperation, at today’s Global Climate Action Summit, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Climate Alliance agreed to work together to achieve an ambitious climate agenda, and to report on our progress at the 2019 UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit.
To protect our communities from harmful pollution now, we will stand united in advancing improvements in efficiency, electrification and greenhouse gas emission performance of vehicles through information exchanges and collaboration.
Our jurisdictions are already leaders on zero-carbon energy. We commit to go further, by reaffirming the commitment made at the North America Leaders’ Summit to work toward a goal of 50% of zero-carbon power generation by 2025 collectively across North America, working hand-in-hand with the private sector and beyond the borders of our membership. Connecticut, Hawaii and New York join Canada and Mexico in the Powering Past Coal Alliance, and resolve to phase out traditional and avoid new coal power stations without operational carbon capture and storage.
Reductions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) - namely methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), black carbon and ground-level ozone – can not only help achieve our climate and air quality objectives, but also have significant environmental, energy, economic and health benefits. Cost-effective solutions exist and can enhance economic opportunities in key-sectors. To drive down the emission of these harmful pollutants, Canada and Mexico accept the Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Challenge issued by the U.S. Climate Alliance, and we each agree to develop and implement ambitious short-lived climate pollutant reduction strategies.
We also recognize that we cannot achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement by reducing emissions from the electricity, transportation, and industrial sectors alone. We must remove harmful carbon from our atmosphere as fast as possible. We therefore resolve to manage natural and working lands to be a net sink of carbon; to protect and increase carbon storage capacity; and to integrate priority actions and pathways into GHG mitigation plans by 2020. Maintaining natural and working lands protects the communities, economies, and ecosystems that depend on them, which in turn has significant co-benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation.
Given the importance of ecosystem services, we encourage collaborative efforts to build robust observations and modelling networks for mitigation and adaptation efforts, seeking a better integration of ocean observation systems and to foster complementary research on oceans and climate change, including the impacts of climate change on oceans and marine ecosystems.
We commit to increasing economic and socio-ecological resilience of coastal communities and marine ecosystems in the context of climate change through enhanced cooperation on ocean management, including among respective marine protected areas.
Cooperative efforts on market-based strategies for emissions reductions continue to drive innovation and grow economies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We resolve to deepen our cooperation through existing platforms that seek to incorporate the cost of carbon pollution into decision-making.
We recognize the importance of the Social Cost of Carbon, a critical tool for assessing the damages associated with carbon pollution, and Canada and Mexico join the partnership between the U.S. Climate Alliance, Resources for the Future, and Climate Impact Lab in order to share information related to scientific progress to update the metric, and promote opportunities to use the Social Cost of Carbon appropriately across a wide range of policy applications.
What is the Talanoa Dialogue?
As part of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in November 2017, the UN Climate Change secretariat launched a Talanoa Dialogue, an important international conversation in which countries will check progress and seek to increase global ambition to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The Talanoa Dialogue is now being continued through 2018 via an online portal. Through the portal, all countries and other stakeholders, including business, investors, cities, regions and civil society, are invited to make submissions into the Talanoa Dialogue around three central questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?
Countries and non-Party stakeholders will be contributing ideas, recommendations and information that can assist the world in taking climate action to the next level in order to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
What is the U.S. Climate Alliance's contribution?
The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of 17 U.S. governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Alliance remains committed to the Paris Agreement and to meeting our share of the U.S. NDC —a 26-28% reduction in GHG emissions below 2005 levels by 2025. Alliance States are also demonstrating that tackling climate change and growing our economies goes hand in hand.
Alliance states have already made impressive progress toward achieving this goal. Between 2005 and 2016, Alliance states collectively reduced net GHG emissions by 14%, compared with 11% for the rest of the nation. In all major sectors of the economy, Alliance states have outpaced all other states - reducing GHG emissions from the power sector by 30%, and from industry and buildings by 15%, all below 2005 levels. Alliance states have reduced transportation emissions at three times the rate of the rest of the U.S.
Our states are driving these reductions at the same time as we are growing our economies faster than the rest of the country. Between 2005 and 2016, the combined economic output of Alliance states grew by 16% while the rest of the country grew by only 14%. Alliance states will continue to lead the nation in reducing GHG emissions in the years ahead. Alliance states are projected to achieve a combined 18-25% reduction in GHG emissions below 2005 levels by 2025, and are even more resolved to accelerate our efforts to help fill the federal gap on climate leadership.