Conclusions Linking the international and the national with the subnational

In drafting a post-2012 climate change agreement, governments at the national level would do well to look towards the considerable work that is being undertaken at the state, provincial and regional levels. While progress at the international level may be slow, sub-national governments from around the world have been paving the way for action on climate change. States and regions are fast outpacing national governments in delivering effective and innovative climate policy. Pioneering climate change policies, sub-national governments are showing that a prosperous low-carbon economy is possible.

It is imperative that we negotiate an ambitious and effective international global climate change action plan and act now. Sub-national action is, and will remain, a necessary complement to the strategies and actions that already exist at the national level. It is important that heads of state, other world leaders and the UN itself recognize and support the role of sub-national governments in mitigation and adaptation to climate change. National governments will look to the efforts that states, provinces and regions have made in developing collaborative mechanisms in response to climate change as a model for national and international action.

President Obama is learning, no doubt, that a new day is dawning in the US approach to a changing climate. He is pointing to the economic opportunities that will arise from fast and bold climate change action, including job creation, generating growth and enhancing competitiveness. State-level action over the past few years shows what states are capable of in the absence of a constructive relationship with the federal administration regarding climate change. Now that the US has a federal administration that seems to be taking climate change seriously, there can be more optimism to what the next few years will bring.

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