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Emissions from a coal-fired power plant in Baltimore. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A new analysis concludes that local and regional governments, as well as corporations, can play a major role in cutting carbon emissions enough to prevent runaway global warming — but working together is crucial to making that happen.

Why it matters: The report is the most comprehensive global analysis yet of climate plans by cities, state and regional governments, and companies.

A Yale University interdisciplinary project called Data-Driven Yale released the report along with the NewClimate Institute and a Dutch national institute called the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

Where it stands: The existing pledges would lead to emissions in 2030 that are about three to four percent below where they would be under current national policies alone.

But far steeper reductions are possible if they work in concert via the many "international cooperative initiatives" (ICIs) that bring together some combination of countries, cities, state and regional governments, and businesses and civil society groups, according to the report. These groups typically come together around more ambitious and long-term goals than individual members.

  • Examples of those ICIs include America's Pledge (which is led by California Gov. Jerry Brown and Mike Bloomberg), several different groups of mayors worldwide, the Under2 Coalition, and many others.

Working through those ICIs could lead to emissions in 2030 that are one third lower than what's on tap under current national policies alone, bringing global emissions to around 36-43 gigatons of CO2-equivalent per year, which is much closer to a trajectory compatible with limiting the rise to two degrees Celsius.

The impact would be even greater if countries actually meet their Paris pledges (called "nationally determined contributions") as well.

"Combined, ICIs and fully-implemented NDCs would bring global emissions in 2030 into a range that is consistent with the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement," the report states.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.

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