Climate commitments of subnational actors and business: a quantitative assessment of their emission reduction impact

Initiatives by non-state actors to cut greenhouse gas emissions are becoming increasingly significant in fighting climate change, and could bring savings of close to 1.8 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) in 2020, according to a new study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). With the emission reduction impact of companies likely to reach 0.63 GtCO2e by 2020, phasing out inefficient lighting could save 0.05 GtCO2e in 2020 and initiatives by cities 1.08 GtCO2e in 2020. The report, titled 'Climate Commitments of Subnational Actors and Business', looked at 15 major initiatives in the areas of cities, regions, business and sectors - such as energy efficiency, methane, agriculture and finance. It finds that 180 initiatives, involving more than 20,000 participating organizations, were in place by April 2015, indicating even greater potential for emission cuts beyond those assessed. A significant number of these initiatives were launched at the UN Secretary General's Climate Summit in September, last year.