Skip to main content

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

Back to All Publications
fulfilling americas pledge

Download the paper.

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.

View All Publications