For Immediate Release
September 8, 2015
Contact: Alex Barnum, (916) 324-9670
SACRAMENTO – Three Amazon basin states have become the latest to join a growing worldwide coalition of states and regions in signing a first-of-its-kind agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
Leaders of the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Rondônia and Tocantins signed the “Under 2 MOU,” as the agreement is known, on Saturday at the Milan Expo 2015, an international exposition on food, nutrition and sustainability. The Ucayali region of Peru also announced its intention to sign the agreement. The signing event was hosted by the Brazilian state of Acre, one of the founding signatories of the Under 2 MOU.
“California welcomes our new partners to this important agreement that highlights the collective climate efforts of sub-national governments and demonstrates their commitment to an ambitious international climate agreement in Paris,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez.
To date, 21 states and provinces in nine countries and four continents have signed the Under 2 MOU. Collectively, the signatories represent a population of 138 million and more than $5.4 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP).
The Under 2 MOU provides a template for the world’s nations to follow as work continues toward an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of this year’s United Nations climate change conference in Paris. The agreement was first signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and other leaders at a Sacramento event in May.
Signatories commit to either reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 or achieve a per capita annual emission target of less than 2 metric tons by 2050. The MOU allows each government flexibility to tailor emission reduction plans to fit regional needs, including strategies that reduce emissions by curbing deforestation and protecting natural resources that sequester carbon.
The new Brazilian signatories are also members of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF), a sub-national collaboration that seeks to promote rural development while curbing deforestation and link those activities with other programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The GCF’s Rio Branco Declaration, which California signed in April, commits signatories to curb tropical deforestation by 80 percent by 2020 contingent upon international, performance-based financing.
“As signatories of the Rio Branco Declaration, we are signing the Under 2 MOU reaffirming our commitment to these goals,” said Amazonas’ State Secretary for Environment Antonio Ademir Stroski, in remarks at the Milan signing event. He thanked the state of Acre “for providing such a significant opportunity and reinforcing the union between states and countries.”
“It is particularly significant that these new states are also members of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, another critical sub-national partnership in the effort to forestall climate change and protect tropical forests,” said California Environmental Protection Secretary Rodriquez. “It demonstrates that the Under 2 MOU encompasses a wide array of climate programs from around the world.”
In addition to California and Acre, the founding signatories of the Under 2 MOU include: Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Baja California, Mexico; British Columbia, Canada; Catalonia, Spain; Jalisco, Mexico; Ontario, Canada; and Wales, UK. In the United States, the other founding signatories are Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
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