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Fusing subnational with national climate action is central to decarbonization: the case of the United States

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fulfilling americas pledge

Abstract: Approaches that root national climate strategies in local actions will be essential for all countries as they develop new nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement. The potential impact of climate action from non-national actors in delivering higher global ambition is significant. Sub-national action in the United States provides a test for how such actions can accelerate emissions reductions. We aggregated U.S. state, city, and business commitments within an integrated assessment model to assess how a national climate strategy can be built upon non-state actions. We find that existing commitments alone could reduce emissions 25% below 2005 levels by 2030, and that enhancing actions by these actors could reduce emissions up to 37%. We show how these actions can provide a stepped-up basis for additional federal action to reduce emissions by 49%—consistent with 1.5 °C. Our analysis demonstrates sub-national actions can lead to substantial reductions and support increased national action.


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School Authors: Nathan Hultman

Other Authors: Sander Chan, Idil Boran , Harro van Asselt, Paula Ellinger, Miriam Garcia, Thomas Hale, Lukas Hermwille, Kennedy Liti Mbeva, Ayşem Mert, Charles B. Roger, Amy Weinfurter, Oscar Widerberg, Paulette Bynoe, Victoria Chengo, Ayman Cherkaoui, Todd Edwards, Malin Gütschow, Angel Hsu, David Levaï, Saffran Mihnar, Sara Posa, Mark Roelfsema, Bryce Rudyk, Michelle Scobie, Manish Kumar Shrivastava