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16/06/2015

Tackling Climate Change from the Ground Up



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Innovative Regional Leaders Gather in Barcelona to Forge New Partnerships

Author: GCF Task Force
Image: Semadet Jalisco

Solutions to climate change are being tested and proven by subnational governments around the world, and innovative leaders from many of these states and provinces will gather in Barcelona June 15-18 for the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force annual meeting. The gathering will feature visually rich storytelling, networking and interview opportunities with a diverse range of leaders from the GCF Task Force family.

From the Kalimantans on the island of Borneo to Mato Grosso (Brazil), from Chiapas (Mexico) to Cross River State (Nigeria), state and provincial governments, NGO’s and the private sector are working in partnership to pioneer new models of sustainable low emissions development that protect tropical forests, enhance livelihoods and reduce carbon pollution.

“We know that the fight to prevent deforestation will be won when productive, low-impact alternatives that provide income and employment for indigenous and non-indigenous communities are a reality for all who live in the forest,” said Governor Tião Viana of Acre, Brazil, a pioneer in sustainable, forest-focused development. “In Acre, we are changing the logic of deforestation by taking economic advantage of degraded areas and diversifying the supply chain.”

The gathering will highlight the increasingly important role of subnational actors and networks on the road to Paris. Led by GCF Task Force founding member California, many GCF states and provinces will sign the Under 2 MOU, a commitment by states and provinces from developed and developing nations calling for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 percent below 1990 levels. In joining this effort, the jurisdictions are taking an important step together to help ensure a decisive global agreement of nations this year.

“In Barcelona this year we’ll have the opportunity to build new partnerships and elevate the profile of many of these efforts, which is especially important in the lead-up to the Paris climate talks,” said William Boyd, GCF Project Lead and Senior Advisor. “The world is looking for solutions, and the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force has them. Our members are on the front lines in the fight against climate change, working together with partners in the private sector and civil society to design innovative solutions and put them into practice.”

“As subnational governments, we are the ones who actually have to take action,” said Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board. “We are the foundation of any successful effort to fight climate change.”

Also at Barcelona GCF Task Force members will work to cement concrete actions and partnerships to implement the Rio Branco Declaration signed at the 2014 GCF Annual Meeting, in which GCF members agreed to reduce deforestation 80% by 2020, contingent upon the receipt of international financing, to partner with sustainable supply chain initiatives, and to dedicate a substantial share of performance-based financing to indigenous and traditional communities.

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