Individual cities, regions and businesses across the globe are banding together determinedly to confront climate change – but their emissions reductions are relatively small and don’t fully compensate for a recalcitrant US under the Trump administration, a new study has found. A cavalcade of city mayors, regional government representatives and business executives from around the world will convene in San Francisco next month for a major summit touting the role of action beyond national governments to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. But the greenhouse gas cuts offered up by these entities are relatively modest, according to new research, placing the onus on nations to raise their ambitions even as the US, the world’s second largest emitter, looks to exit the landmark Paris climate agreement. An evaluation of climate change pledges by nearly 6,000 cities, states and regions, representing 7% of the global population, and more than 2,000 companies that have a combined revenue comparable to the size of the US economy, found a total projected reduction of between 1.5bn to 2.2bn tons of greenhouse gases by 2030. In some places this action will be significant, such as in the US, where shifts to cleaner energy and energy efficiency by cities and states are on track to contribute half of the emissions reductions promised by the country in the Paris agreement. But globally these emissions cuts fall short of enabling countries to avoid breaching agreed thresholds for dangerous warming that will trigger increased heatwaves, mightier storms, rising seas and displacement of people.
Guardian 29th Aug 2018 read more »