California is adding to its roster of allies in the climate change counteroffensive.
Environmental groups are hailing an agreement signed Tuesday by Governor Jerry Brown and an assortment of states, provinces and other “subnational” governments to ratchet up their own climate strategies.
Billed as the “Under 2 MOU,” the memorandum of understanding is a pledge to advance policies aimed at arresting global warming at the U.N.’s critical threshold of 2 degrees Celsius. That’s the level beyond which some scientists say the most catastrophic effects of climate change would kick in and hence, has been widely adopted as a kind of holy grail of climate policy outcomes.
Even assuming that all parties deliver on their pledges, actually holding the line at 2 degrees would, of course, require serious, sweeping transnational commitments from major emitters like the U.S., China and India, something that negotiators have yet to achieve.
KQED’s Tara Siler spoke with Dan Kammen, who heads the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at UC Berkeley, about the deal and how much difference this kind of subnational agreement can really make in moving the climate needle.