As thousands meet at the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference to discuss progress on implementing the Paris Agreement, a new report released recently has found that over 100 of the world's state and regional governments are making significant progress on climate action, particularly in the short-term.
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Key findings from the Global States and Regions Annual Disclosure update from the Climate Group and CDP show that sub-national governments took 80% more climate actions in 2017, across 10 sectors, including buildings, energy, transport and land use.

On average, there was an 8.5% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to the state and regional governments' base years. The data was provided by the States and Regions Climate Action Tracker, which was developed by CDP and the Climate Group, in partnership with Climate-KIC Low Carbon City Lab.

The tracker contains the latest climate data from disclosing states and regions and showcases their increasingly important role in driving climate action.

Six sub-national governments, including Lombardy, Carinthia and Wallonia have already met or exceeded their 2020 climate targets, while four governments including Scotland and Lower Austria, have made great progress and are on track to meet their targets.

The report also found that on average, the ambition of the states and regions' 2020 targets exceeds that of their national counterparts, and while they are on course for limiting global temperature rise to below two degrees by 2020, this is not the case in 2050, which will require states and regions to set more ambitious emissions reduction targets.

According to the CEO of the Climate Group Helen Clarkson, the 2017 Annual Disclosure Update shows that states and regions are now moving into the implementation phase of the Paris Agreement, and are key players in its delivery.

"Knowing what other governments have done reinforces the case for action, with visible progress being made against headline commitments and targets," Clarkson said.

"This proves that we can continue to raise ambition and drive the world to an under 2°C economy without delay." 

The Climate Group and CDP report is an analysis of the annual disclosure of climate targets, GHG inventories and climate action from states and regions around the world.

As we reach a tipping point on global climate action, increased disclosure of environmental data along with access to States and Regions Climate Action Tracker will help sub-national governments to understand their environmental impact and the risks and opportunities of climate change.

Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP believes that all of this drives up the standards, transparency and accountability of the government's actions.

"This momentum is both driving up standards of climate leadership and putting transparency and accountability at the heart of government environmental action," Simpson said.

"Now we need to see longer-term targets from states and regions to ensure their ambition is aligned with limiting global warming to well below 2°."