Fusing national and subnational climate action

Event Description

Fusing national and subnational climate action to enhance global ambition: America’s Pledge and the case of the United States with Nate Hultman


March 5, 2019 | 12:30 – 2:00 PM EST

Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

1619 Massachusetts Ave. NW 20036

Room 806


A globally sufficient response to climate change will require new models of organization, coalition building, and implementation in which rapid decarbonization at the national level will be rooted in actions initiated by a diverse range of actors. The U.S. provides a window into how the diversification of climate action across actors can drive changes in emissions. We developed a new analytical approach to integrate sub-national commitments into a modeling framework to assess impacts across three politically plausible scenarios formulated in consultation with experts and stakeholders. These coalitions of actors in the U.S. are globally significant, equivalent to the world’s third largest economy and fourth largest GHG emitter.

Moreover, politically plausible actions by non-federal actors could reduce national emissions as much as 24% below 2005 levels by 2025, close to the U.S. commitment of 26-28%. Such approaches to understand the fusing of subnational into national ambition will be essential for all countries – building on this year’s UN climate summit to enhance global action by 2020.


About the Speaker:


Nate Hultman is Director of the Center for Global Sustainability and Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. He is also a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 2014-2016, Hultman worked at the White House on the Obama Administration’s climate and energy policy team. During this time, he helped develop the U.S. 2025 climate target, worked on U.S. bilateral engagements with China, India, Brazil and others, and participated in the international climate negotiations in Lima and Paris. His research focuses on national climate target-setting and assessment, U.S. emissions mitigation policy, energy technology transitions and international climate policy. He was recently lead author of the America’s Pledge 2018 Report, Fulfilling America’s Pledge: How Cities, States, and Businesses are Leading the way to a Low-Carbon Future. He has participated in the UN climate process since the Kyoto meeting, and was a contributing author to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report and Special Report on Renewable Energy. Hultman was formerly a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford, Fulbright fellow and NASA Earth Systems Science Fellow in climate sciences. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Energy & Resources from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Physics from Carleton College.

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