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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

9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

Mike Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer congratulations and help

Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.

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