Schwarzenegger Previews Regional Coalition to Fight Climate Change

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and regional leaders from around the world announced their plans to create of a new Club of 20 Regions (R20) last night in Copenhagen.

The coalition, which is scheduled to officially launch in September, will highlight the vital role that “subnational” governments, such as states and provinces, play in fighting climate change.

Schwarzenegger has been the pacesetter for the subnational movement since he signed the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) three years ago.  That groundbreaking legislation allowed the state of California to set a cap on global warming emissions – something that previously had only been talked about in terms of national policy.

Schwarzenegger says:

Action is needed at the national and international levels to reduce the effects of global warming, but California has shown that state and regional governments can also institute policies on their own that will see real environmental improvements and grow green jobs … R20 will help pave the way in the transition to a green economy.

Schwarzenegger says the R20 will:

  • Develop a shared vision for global security and prosperity
  • Pursue adaptation strategies to address current and future climate change
  • Mitigate greenhouse gas emissions
  • Support public-private partnerships and the use of finance mechanisms to address global warming
  • Promote technology transfer and capacity building agreements

State and regional governments are laboratories for clean energy and sustainability solutions that play an important role in fighting global warming.  California continues to be a key proving ground and has helped advance the critical issue of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) by partnering with Brazilian and Indonesian states in the Governor’s Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF). 

At a jam-packed event last night, moderated by EDF’s own Steve Schwartzman, several Brazilian Governors highlighted their state’s REDD plans and talked about the value of subnational collaboration in deploying innovative solutions to preserve forests. 

EDF thinks subnational actions make great environmental and economic sense, and help build momentum for national and international action. We look forward to watching R20 take off.

Read more about the announcement in China Daily’s article.

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