Sub-national governments can influence 50-80% of all climate mitigation strategies (according to UNDP). The power of the subnational governments globally was one of the themes of the Summit.
It was very useful to immerse myself in a global discussion on climate change – and to hear what various regions are and are not doing. The amount of information flow at the Summit was overwhelming. I realized that I had to pace myself in terms of how much I could actually take in. While there were participants from the federal scene and the UN, it was still predominantly the messages from the sub-national units that came through most potently.
Our Ambassador Designate to the US, Gary Doer, gave an impassioned speech citing the costs of doing nothing – and highlighting work from the Western Climate Initiative and importance of both continuing the dialogue and getting going on actions.
The Summit itself wrapped up the a Climate Change Agreement being signed by 30 Global Provincial/Regional Leaders. The agreement “commits to work together to pursue clean transportation and mobility, support national climate change legislation, include forests in climate policy development, acknowledge the need for adaptation efforts and recognize the role of sub-national governments in the discussions on the next global climate agreement being negotiated in Copenhagen this December”.
“This summit confirmed that there are solutions to the climate challenge and regions are definitely a part of those solutions,” said Olav Kjorven, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and director of policy at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “I’m delighted to see how regions are exploring the ways they can address climate change. This is the can-do spirit we need to seal the deal in Copenhagen. At UNDP, we will step up our work with regions and national governments on planning, financing and implementing the foundations of a low carbon and poverty-free future.”
These quotes come from:
So that’s it for the MQ coverage of the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 2. Thanks to the Sauder Business School at UBC for support to attend. Am intending on using this experience, these contacts and the associated information to shape my interactions with students and faculty alike over the coming months.