The Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) at the University of Maryland has received a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to co-lead a major research effort for the America’s Pledge initiative. This project will help quantify and realize the impact of commitments made by cities, states, businesses, universities, and other non-Federal actors to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States. Currently numbering more than 3,000 across the United States, these actors committed to climate policies represent more than half the U.S. population and more than half of U.S. GDP—equivalent to the third-largest economy in the world—and are actively implementing policies to advance clean energy and drive down their emissions.
Prof. Nathan Hultman, Director of the Center for Global Sustainability and Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy, is co-leading the analysis. He notes, “The America’s Pledge initiative on climate change is an extraordinary phenomenon happening in U.S. climate policy in real time. It is not only connecting actors and advancing policy discussions, but also building an analytically grounded understanding of how diverse actors in our Federal system are using the policy levers at their disposal to advance actions on climate that they have determined will support a cleaner and more robust economy for their constituents. It deliberately connects research to policy and we are thrilled to be able to help build out an analytical approach and engagement platform to better understand and communicate about the implications of climate actions happening now in the United States.”
The America’s Pledge Initiative, as well as the forthcoming report, is co-chaired by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg. Hultman is co-leading the analysis and the report with Paul Bodnar, Managing Director of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
In carrying out the project, CGS will support several elements of America’s Pledge. It is working with partners to collect data, build a new analytical methodology, and model the impact of commitments by diverse actors. The results of this extensive research effort will be presented in a new report, Fulfilling America’s Pledge: How States, Cities, and Businesses Are Leading the United States, which will be launched at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco, CA on September 13, 2018. In parallel to the analysis and writing of the report, CGS will be developing a platform to support other actors globally who are interested in similar analysis to scope future ambition. CGS will also be engaging with universities across the United States to collaboratively develop models through which their research can better connect with their local, state, and national policymakers and other stakeholders. This engagement includes a role for the University of Maryland as the research lead of the Universities Climate Change Coalition (UC3).