College Park, MD - May 24, 2019 - Today, Michael R. Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, and this year’s commencement speaker for the University of Maryland, announced the funding of $2.3 million to the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to evaluate and analyze current US greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
As UN Special Envoy, Bloomberg will submit the report to the United Nations at COP25 in Santiago, Chile in December 2019, to demonstrate U.S. progress in meeting carbon reduction commitments made under the Paris Agreement. As the next installment of America’s Pledge, this report focuses on developing and estimating the impact of enhanced and comprehensive U.S. climate policy, signaling to the rest of the world that, by building sub-national action into a broad based national strategy, the U.S. can stay on track toward the deep reductions needed by mid-century for the world to meet global climate goals in line with scientific guidance.
“America’s Pledge helps to speed our progress by bringing people together, collecting data, and outlining ways we can do more. The next report will add to that momentum, and the University of Maryland is an important partner in our work,” comments Michael Bloomberg.
The team at the University of Maryland, led by CGS, is looking forward to continuing work on this unique bottom-up-top-down model of estimating reduction potential from subnational actors, especially as it becomes clear that lessons learned within the US can extend to other countries, as the world looks to all players to do their part in reducing emissions.
Nate Hultman, CGS director and the report’s lead author, notes that “This year, we are at a key global moment where countries around the world will be evaluating how to increase their ambition to address climate change. The America’s Pledge model shows how collaboration and analysis are key to realizing the true potential for climate action. Not only is this possible within the US, but also across other countries where coalitions of the willing can build on existing opportunity and scale up climate action to address real economic, social, and public health concerns stemming from climate change. Our unique and innovative approach does more than aggregate current emissions, it engages leaders to builds confidence among a diverse set of actors that is necessary to spark enhanced collective climate action and squeeze out additional ambition at the national level.”
Robert Orr, dean of the UMD School of Public Policy, adds, “Bottom-up climate leadership from states, cities, businesses, and universities is where the action is today. Our Center for Global Sustainability is proud to continue working with Bloomberg Philanthropies on America’s Pledge. Fusing strong data and analytics with political and economic leadership from below has proven a powerful and necessary tool to address the climate crisis we face today.”
Last year’s America’s Pledge report, Fulfilling America’s Pledge was also co-led by CGS. Working with 55 co-authors and 7 institutional partners, it built a new approach to integrating subnational climate commitments with an economy-wide assessment of emissions reduction potential. Using an approach of developing 10 climate action strategies in consultation with real climate leaders across the economy, it showed that subnational actors have the potential to reduce emissions by more than 24 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, which can bring the U.S. within striking distance of its 26 percent target. This year’s report will update these estimates and produce an even more comprehensive analysis of subnational potential in the U.S.