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States & Regions

States & Regions

The Climate Group brings together sub-national government leaders from around the world to be part of a powerful, high-profile network that shares expertise and influences the international dialogue on climate action.

The States & Regions Alliance was created in 2005 with the signing of the Montreal Declaration of Federated States & Regions. Today, the States & Regions Alliance has grown to 27 active members, and over 50 sub-national governments have worked with us to set targets and implement climate action. And in July 2014, The Climate Group supported the launch of the China Regional Low Carbon Alliance, our first Chinese affiliate network.

Our members represent some of the most economically powerful regions in the world and collectively account for 313 million people (1 in 22 global citizens), 13% of global GDP and 2.3 Gigatons CO2e.

State and regional governments are setting standards for impactful global climate action. Our members are phasing out coal, committing to 100% renewables, investing in clean tech infrastructure and start-ups, linking emissions trading systems, developing new financing mechanisms and making ambitious emissions reductions commitments.

regions map

Examples of leading actions by each region can be found in their member profiles, as well as in our States and Regions Clean Revolution Leadership report.

Download an introductory overview over the States and Regions Alliance and its work.

Working Groups

Acting as laboratories for low carbon policy innovation, significant climate action is implemented at the sub-national government level. A core part of The Climate Group’s work is to drive climate policy development through the States & Regions Alliance working groups. Our working groups provide a forum for government practitioners to share successes, learn from challenges, source solutions and create a template that can be used far beyond their regional boundaries.

Clean Tech Innovation

The Clean Tech Innovation working group brings together state and regional governments to identify which state and regional policies have proven to be the most effective in driving clean energy innovation, growth and in promoting successful clean tech clusters.

Members: Brittany (lead), Basque Country, Bavaria, KwaZulu-Natal, La Réunion, North Rhine-Westphalia, Ontario, Québec, Rio de Janeiro (state), Upper Austria, Wales and Wallonia.

States & Regions Emissions Reporting Program

In collaboration with CDP, The Climate Group is launching a new initiative for sub-national governments to monitor and report their emissions. By developing and testing a common reporting system, sub-national governments will be able to identify their greatest sources of emissions and therefore develop targeted reductions measures. By collecting relevant emissions and climate policy information, the States & Regions Emissions Reporting Program will also highlight best practices and successful policies which other regions may wish to implement

Members: Catalonia (lead), KwaZulu-Natal, Basque Country, Jalisco, North Denmark Region, North-Rhine Westphalia, Quebec, Rio de Janeiro State, Sao Paulo State, Tasmania, Vermont

Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy

Electric vehicles represent one of the most promising technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and dependence on oil. The EV Policy Initiative is a forum for state and regional governments around the world to share best practices on EV policy and identify potential opportunities for further action and collaboration. The group explores participants’ experiences on specific EV policy topics and has facilitated engagement with international experts, businesses and EV networks, e.g. through webinars. The first series of webinars has been completed, and culminated in the EV Policy Report summarizing the working group’s members’ lessons learned on the development of electric vehicle policies.

Members: Québec (lead), Basque Country, Brittany, California, Manitoba, New York State, North-Rhine Westphalia, Ontario, São Paulo and Scotland (observers: British Columbia, Saxony).

Energy Efficiency Financing

This working group focuses on sharing knowledge of innovative financing instruments for energy efficiency in the building sector. A study carried out for The Climate Group at Stanford University shed some first light on the instruments available to promote energy efficiency investments. In 2013, members of the working group identified and mapped energy efficiency finance initiatives in the building sector from the regions of Australia, North America and Europe.

Members: South Australia (lead), California, Île-de-France, KwaZulu-Natal, Manitoba, New York State, Ontario, Québec and Wales.

Climate Adaptation

This working group aims to support sub-national governments to develop adequate climate adaptation strategies. A series of webinars on priority topics will provide opportunities for participants to exchange experiences and best practices on topics such as natural disaster risk management, climate modelling and adaptation impacts, insurance mechanisms etc.

Members: South Australia (lead), Bavaria, Catalonia, La Réunion, New York State, Ontario, Québec, Rio de Janeiro (state) and Tasmania.

Marine Renewable Energy Technologies

This working group brings together regional governments as well as private actors involved in the development of marine renewable energy potential. Members will share expertise, and jointly develop recommendations for promoting development of the sector.

Members: Basque Country (lead), Brittany, KwaZulu-Natal, Wales and Scotland.

Joint Commitments

Since its foundation the Alliance has continuously affirmed its leadership in a series of declarations committing members to domestic ambitious actions and formulating their expectations from national and international decision takers:

June 2012: Rio Clean Revolution Statement and Summit

States and Regions Alliance members at their General Assembly on June 18th signed the Clean Revolution Statement during the Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro with clear joint commitments on energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transport based on their earlier and broader Cancun Statement.

Current signatories of the Statement include the governments of the Baden-Württemberg, Basque Country, Brittany, Catalonia, Ile-de-France, Jämtland, La Reunion, Manitoba, North Rhine-Westphalia, Quebec, Quintana Roo, Rhone-Alpes, Sao Paulo, Scotland, South Australia, Wales and Wallonia. Further members that were not present in Rio are still expected to join the statement.

At the World Summit of States and Regions on June 19th hosted by the State of Rio, The Climate Group and nrg4sd, over 50 sub-national government leaders from around the world convened and confirmed their overall commitment to sustainable development and the Green Economy in the Declaration of Federated States and Regions of Rio de Janeiro.

The TCG Alliance members also reconfirmed their commitment to the Billion Trees Initiative (Copenhagen 2009), with signatories already half-way towards the achievement of their 2015 goal.

December 2011: States and Regions key climate achievements

States and Regions brought to COP 17 in Durban an overview of some of their key climate achievements, providing some inspiring examples for the impact of sub-national leadership for the Clean Revolution and reconfirming their dedication to continuously increasing their ambition.

October 2011: Lyon Declaration

At the European Conference of Regions on Climate Action in October 2011 co-organised by the region of Rhone-Alpes, The Climate Group and nrg4SD, European States and Regions reconfirmed their commitment to climate action and called for the adoption of ambitious emission reduction targets at European and international levels in the Lyon Declaration that was handed over to global decision takers at the COP 17 in Durban.

June 2011: States and Regions call for 30% EU GHG emissions target

Aiming to promote ambitious climate targets also at the European level, the governments of European Alliance members Baden-Württemberg, the Basque Country, Bavaria, Brittany, Catalonia, Cornwall, Ile de France, Rhone-Alpes, Scotland and Wales signed a call for 30% EU GHG emissions reduction target to support the 30% call by 74 major corporations co-organised between The Climate Group, The Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership and WWF Climate Savers.

December 2010: Cancun Statement and Sectoral Framework

At the third Climate Leaders Summit hosted by The Climate Group in Cancun, the sub-national governments in attendance committed to continue to develop low-carbon policies and to regularly report on their progress in the Cancun Statement of Federal States & Regional Governments on Low Carbon & Climate Resilient Development and the accompanying Cancun Sectoral Framework.

June 2010: Bonn Declaration of States and Regional Governments

At the high level conference organised on the side of to the UNFCCC negotiating session in Bonn, Germany, co-hosted by the government of North-Rhine Westphalia and The Climate Group, the States and Regions called for bold action to progress the UN negotiations, highlighted the core role of sub-national governments in global climate action as well as confirmed their own commitments to climate action and to reporting back on their progress at COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico.

March 2010: Paris-Ile-de-France Declaration of Regional Governments to the EU

At a conference co-organised by the government of Ile-de-France and The Climate Group in Paris, the Federated States and Regional Governments and their respective networks gathered confirmed their support for the Copenhagen Accord and their own commitments made in the Copenhagen Statement as well as called for strong climate initiatives at the European level.

December 2009: Copenhagen Statement and Billion Trees commitment

At the second Climate Leaders Summit hosted by The Climate Group at COP 15 in Copenhagen, 60 Leaders, Ministers, State Secretaries and regional leaders committed to take practical actions to expand low carbon technologies and collaborate in addressing climate challenges, called for ambitious GHG reduction targets to meet the 2 degree target and an international climate change agreement, as well as recognized the important leadership role of sub-national governments in meeting the Climate Conventions’ goals. With the publication of "The Real Deal", sub-national governments reported back on their achievements made since the 2008 Poznan Statement of Action

On the initiative of the government of South Australia, leaders also committed to jointly planting a billion trees by 2015.

2008: Poznan Statement of Actions

During the second Climate Leaders Summit in Poznan, the signatories of the Montreal Declaration reported on their progress and agreed a new “action statement” presented to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer, in which they committed to setting targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency to accelerate low carbon policies prior to next year's climate change meeting in Copenhagen.

December 2005: Montreal Declaration

Realizing the potential of sub-national levels in driving the Clean Revolution, The Climate Group teamed up with the States of Quebec and Manitoba in 2005 to hold the first Climate Leaders Summit, resulting in the Montreal Declaration of Federated States and Regions signed by sub-national governments from around the world committing to setting targets and implementing climate action in their own jurisdictions. This document continues to be signed by all members and affiliates of the Alliance as the founding basis of its work.

Membership and governance

The States and Regions Alliance currently brings together 25 core members that are ambitious, active and globally significant.

Our members: Baden-Württemberg, Basque CountryBavariaBrittanyCaliforniaCatalonia, Connecticut, Gujarat, Ile-de-France, KwaZulu-Natal, La Réunion, LombardyManitobaNew York State, North Rhine WestphaliaOntarioQuebec, Quintana Roo, Rhone-Alpes, Rio de Janeiro State, Sao Paulo State, ScotlandSouth AustraliaTasmania, Upper Austria, Wales and Wallonia.

The governance of the Alliance is member-driven with high-level political engagement allowing members to take ownership.

The governments of Québec (America), the Basque Country (Europe) and South Australia (Australia/Asia) were elected as co-chairs to publicly represent the States and Regions Alliance and provide strategic guidance. The co-chairs are assisted by a steering group, consisting of the governments of Brittany, Catalonia, North Rhine-Westphalia and Sao Paulo.

In July 2014, The Climate Group together with Gui’an New Area Government supported the launch of the China Regional Low Carbon Alliance. This brings together nine Chinese new area governments focused on fostering learning and collaboration on green growth and innovation, both within China and globally. The China Regional Low Carbon Alliance is an affiliate network of the The Climate Group States & Regions Alliance.

The Climate Group provides the channel to make the state and regions voice heard in international policy dialogue, while acting as Secretariat to the Alliance and managing the day-to-day strategic development of its work.

We closely link the Alliance’s work to the wider The Climate Group Clean Revolution campaign to ensure the states and regions perspective is included into the overall debates and sub-national government leadership is fully profiled on its platforms. We facilitate collaboration and exchange opportunities within the network