climate group
Image credit: Jon Tyson - Unsplash

75 state and regional governments around the world are advancing the global transition to renewables according to a new report by The Climate Group and CDP.

The report has been released ahead of the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in December (COP25).

The Global States and Regions Annual Disclosure 2019, the most comprehensive account of state and regional climate action released to date, summarises data from 124 states and regions from 35 countries, representing $17 trillion – 20% of the global economy, with a combined population of 669 million people.

Annual Disclosure 2019 - Projections graph
Image credit: The Climate Group/CDP

It reveals that 75 states and regions are now powering their economies with 45% renewable electricity. By comparison, only 25% of global electricity is renewable.  

Seven states and regions from across Norway, Sweden, Brazil and Peru are already powered by 100% renewable electricity, and a further five have committed to achieving this target.

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Even more encouragingly, some governments are going beyond just producing and consuming electricity from renewable sources. Seven states and regions, including Catalonia, Spain and Thuringia, Germany, have set ambitious plans to decarbonise their entire energy mix across all sectors such as industry, agriculture and transport. 

Annual Disclosure 2019 - Renewable energy graphic
Image credit: The Climate Group/CDP

Tim Ash Vie, Director of the Under2 Coalition of states and regions at The Climate Group, said: “States and regions are crucial actors in addressing the climate crisis. They have the power to make significant emissions reductions across areas such as energy generation, land use and transport.”

Kyra Appleby, Global Director, Cities, States and Regions at CDP, said: “We call on states and regions around the globe to rapidly reduce emissions by transitioning to renewable energy and stopping deforestation within their boundaries. The first step in action is disclosure, and we invite the states and regions of the world to join those represented in this report and share their climate strategies through CDP.”

States and regions have on average reduced emissions by 14% – significant progress as global average emissions have risen by 42%.

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However, despite state and regional climate targets for 2020 being on track, the report projects a slowing rate of emissions reductions over the next decade. This means the level of ambition for 2030 targets needs to be raised in order to limit global heating to 1.5°C.

Tim Ash Vie added: “It is encouraging to see that the ambition of the targets for leading state and regional governments is increasingly in line with what is required to meet the 1.5˚C goal. However, as we enter the climate decade, states and regions now need to focus on 2030 and uplift their ambition.”

Other findings include:

  • Net-zero targets: 11 states and regions have net-zero emissions goals for 2050 including the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), California, Catalonia, New York State and Scotland (nine of which are members of the Under2 Coalition of states and regions)
  • Adaptation & mitigation actions: States and regions disclosed over 650 actions they are taking to adapt to climate change and nearly 4,000 mitigation actions they are taking across 11 sectors
  • Electro-mobility: 59 state and regional governments are installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in their jurisdictions
  • Deforestation: 82% of Latin American states and regions reporting forest data cited the main drivers for deforestation are small scale agriculture (21%), livestock farming (14%) and fires (14%)

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