Glasgow, 8 November – The California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and EIT Climate-KIC have signed a memorandum of understanding formalising their shared commitment to the development of systemic pathways that support UNFCCC’s 1.5-degree Celsius target.
The State of California’s Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the European Knowledge and Innovation Community, EIT Climate-KIC today announced a new peer learning partnership to catalyse innovative solutions in support of California and Europe’s ambitious climate agendas. The agreement, signed today at the UNFCCC COP26, will promote knowledge sharing and project collaboration opportunities between California’s state agencies, facilitated by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and EIT Climate-KIC and its partners across Europe.
“In the spirit of international cooperation that the UN Climate Change Conference embodies, the Office of Planning and Research is pleased to create this global peer-learning partnership with the EU’s EIT Climate-KIC,” said Sam Assefa, Director of the Office of Planning and Research. “For decades the European Union and California have demonstrated climate leadership and innovation, and our team at OPR looks forward to accelerating climate action with the EIT Climate-KIC team and network.”
For the past year, EIT Climate-KIC has been working closely with the Office of Planning and Research to learn and collaborate on projects that bring together both European and Californian innovation and solutions to climate challenges.
“The message from COP26 could not be clearer: we need exponential change in decarbonisation rates and strengthened climate resilience – and we need it now. This cross-Atlantic collaboration exemplifies our shared vision to take climate innovation to the next level and dramatically accelerate climate action”, said Kirsten Dunlop, Chief Executive Officer at EIT Climate-KIC. “By bringing our innovation ecosystems together, we combine multiple solutions into rapid experimentation and acceleration loops, working in partnership with governments, local businesses and global industry, communities, and innovators, to build new economic models, new value chains and greater public/private value.”
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is the State of California’s long-range planning and research agency charged with guiding local and state climate adaptation and resilience efforts, supporting an equitable economic transition, and investing in community resilience. EIT Climate-KIC’s mission is to catalyse systemic change through innovation in areas of human activity that have a critical impact on greenhouse gas emissions (such as cities, land use, materials and finance) and to create climate-resilient communities.
Together, OPR and EIT Climate-KIC will co-design and execute peer learning opportunities to support existing and new projects, including OPR’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program and the Community Economic Resilience Fund, as well as EIT Climate-KIC Healthy, Clean Cities Deep Demonstration. They will also explore new financing mechanisms to accelerate investment in areas such as building retrofits, electrification of public transport, agriculture, renewable energy, and high road industries and jobs.
“Shared vision and a culture of knowledge exchange are critical to limiting global temperature increases to 1.5C”, said Nuin-Tara Key, Deputy Director of Climate Resilience at the Office of Research and Planning, “We’re already witnessing the devastating impacts of climate change in California, highlighting the urgency to support a community of global practice and exchange that can more rapidly deploy solutions here in California and beyond.”
Shared Vision to Equitably Achieve Carbon Neutrality
The State of California will achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, having adopted ambitious emissions reduction targets across its sectors, transforming its economy, and placing equity and communities at the centre of the transition. Leading the nation and world in climate action, California has become a model for how to aggressively address climate change while growing its economy. The state’s forward-thinking approach and progressive policies have helped exceed its 2020 climate target four years ahead of schedule and created six times more clean jobs than fossil fuel jobs.
The European Green Deal will transform the European Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy by ensuring no net emissions of greenhouse gasses by 2050; ensuring economic growth decoupled from resource use; and no person and no place left behind. EIT Climate-KIC is actively supporting the implementation of the EU Green Deal through research and innovation programs, including helping 100 cities to rapidly decarbonise through the NetZeroCities programme.
Progress on California and the EU’s climate agenda necessitates continued driving down of emissions across sectors, moving adaptation to the centre of the agenda, increasing community resilience amidst climatic events, and support for communities, cities, and regions as key implementing partners.
Cover photo by Chris Allan (Shutterstock.com)