New York State Signs Under 2 MOU Climate Agreement


SACRAMENTO – As momentum builds ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced today that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the Under 2 MOU, a global pact amongst cities, states and countries to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius – the warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be catastrophic climate disruptions.

“Across the globe, imaginative leaders of states, provinces and cities are taking decisive action to stem the mounting threats of global warming,” said Governor Brown. “Governor Cuomo’s participation marks a real milestone in the subnational movement to block dangerous climate change.”

The agreement, spearheaded by Governor Brown, has now been signed or endorsed by 43 jurisdictions representing 19 countries and five continents, collectively representing more than $13.6 trillion in GDP and 474 million people. If the signatories represented a single country, it would be the second largest economy in the world behind only the United States.

“Climate change is an issue of society’s sustainability – and to deny that climate change is real is to deny reason,” said Governor Cuomo. “Today, New York is stepping up along with California and 41 other signatories. We are demonstrating the leadership and focus that this issue demands. We are joining together and committing ourselves to tackling climate change and showing the nation what is possible. Now it is up to world leaders to follow suit.”

Under the agreement, 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. These targets allow each individual government to tailor emission reduction plans to fit regional needs.

The pact seeks to enhance cooperation to achieve these goals through a range of activities, including:

– Developing mid-term targets needed to support long-term reduction goals;
– Sharing technology, scientific research and best practices to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy;
– Collaborating to expand the use of zero-emission vehicles;
– Taking steps to ensure consistent monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions;
– Improving air quality by reducing short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon and methane; and
– Assessing the projected impacts of climate change on communities.

California’s Leadership on Climate Change

Yesterday, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation – SB 350 – that codified the goals he laid out in his January 2015 inaugural address to double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings and generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In the same remarks, Governor Brown also committed to reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within the next 15 years; make heating fuels cleaner; reduce the release of methane, black carbon and other potent pollutants across industries; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.

Earlier this year, the Governor issued an executive order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – the most ambitious target in North America and consistent with California’s existing commitment to reduce emissions 80 percent under 1990 levels by 2050.

In recent months, the Governor has traveled to the United Nations in New York, the Vatican in Italy and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, Canada to call on others leaders to join California in the fight against climate change.

These efforts and the Under 2 MOU build on a number of other international climate change agreements with leaders from Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel, Peru and Chile. Governor Brown also helped convene hundreds of world-renowned researchers and scientists to issue a groundbreaking call to action – called the consensus statement – which translates key scientific climate findings from disparate fields into one unified document.