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Germany and California Cooperate on Climate Change

25 November 2016 | The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety News Release

Meeting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP22) in Morocco, California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez and German State Secretary for Environment, Building and Nuclear Safety Jochen Flasbarth agreed to expand cooperation and redouble their commitment to reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and keeping the global temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius.

At their meeting, State Secretary Flasbarth and Secretary Rodriquez discussed the need for decisive climate action now to avoid the worst impacts of climate change on the environment, as well as on people’s health and livelihood. They also discussed how solutions to climate change, like investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate smart technology, will help grow our economies and create jobs.

State Secretary Flasbarth said: “Ambitious climate action needs the involvement of all actors — business, science and citizens – and of all levels of government.” He went on to underline that the cooperation between the national, federal and local level within countries and between countries can be of great benefit.

Additionally, Secretary Rodriquez and State Secretary Flasbarth committed to continue working with other national and subnational actors on climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as environmental issues like clean air.

“Our partnership with Germany and its regions has grown into a global coalition that sets an example and encourages action by other state and national governments,” said Secretary Rodriquez. “We look forward to strengthing our collaboration to confront climate change and lead the transition to a clean energy economy.”

They agreed to support the work of the Under2 Coalition on Subnational Global Climate Leadership, a growing pact of 165 cities, states and countries committed to limiting the increse in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsuis. With the addition of 29 new members this week, the coalition has grown to represent more than 1.08 billion people and 25.7 trillion US dollar in GDP, equivalent to more than a third of the global economy.

Secretary Rodriquez and State Secretary Flasbarth highlighted the Under2 Coalition as an excellent example for close cooperation on ambitious climate action between different nations, provinces, federal states and cities from different continents. The Coalition was formed in 2015 by California and the German state of Baden-Württemberg to mobilize – and galvanize – bold climate action from likeminded governments around the globe. Coalition members pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 2 tons per capita or 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

California’s Leadership on Climate Change

Under Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., California has taken bold action to advance its climate goals, establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America and the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants. In September, Governor Brown also signed legislation that directs cap-and-trade funds to greenhouse gas reducing programs that benefit disadvantaged communities, support clean transportation and protect natural ecosystems.

This action builds on landmark legislation the Governor signed in October 2015 to generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings. Governor Brown has also committed to reducing today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within the next 15 years; make heating fuels cleaner; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.

The German cabinet adopted on 14th November Climate Action Plan 2050 following a proposal by Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks. It is the first government document which maps out the way towards nearly greenhouse gas neutrality in Germany by 2050. The plan sets out climate quantitative targets for individual economic sectors in 2030 and provides guidance for strategic decisions over the coming years.

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