As the current chair of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF), the Government of Catalonia is pleased to host the 2015 GCF Annual Meeting this week in Barcelona. The four-day meeting, running from the 15th to the 18th of June, will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about success stories from member regions, develop networks of contacts and conduct interviews with an important group of GCF Task Force leaders.
The meeting highlights the increasingly important role of regional actors and networks leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) that will be held in Paris this coming December. Last month, several GCF members including California signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Climate Change Leadership initiative (Under2MOU), a commitment from states and provinces in developed and developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 80-95% of 1990 levels. Banding together in this effort, the agreement’s subnational government signatories have taken an important step forward in helping to cement a decisive global agreement this year by the world community.
In Barcelona, members of the GCF will work to form alliances and consolidate concrete actions to implement the Rio Branco Declaration signed during the 2014 GCF Annual Meeting. As part of the declaration, GCF members agreed to reduce deforestation 80% by the year 2020, conditional upon receiving international financing, as well as to achieve alliances with sustainable supply chain initiatives and to allocate a substantial part of performance-based funds to initiatives implemented by indigenous and traditional communities.
This week’s event will feature a series of sessions designed to involve and inform attendees including: a high-level session with governors, ministers, environmental secretaries and other dignitaries from Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Spain and the United States; updates on the progress of GCF members and interested parties during an interactive exposition; a roundtable with GCF coordinators and country representatives; an update from the GCF Secretariat and GCF Fund; and working sessions on high-priority items, such as subnational networks and the road to COP21, public and private financing strategies for low emissions development and the reduction of deforestation, and ways for the Global South to collaborate with the European Union and low emissions program financing.
The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force
The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) is a unique subnational collaboration between 26 states and provinces from Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Spain, and the United States. The GCF seeks to advance jurisdictional programs designed to promote low emissions rural development and reduced emissions from deforestation and land use (REDD+) and link these activities with emerging greenhouse gas (GHG) compliance regimes and other pay-for-performance opportunities.
More than 20% of the world’s tropical forests are in GCF states and provinces, including more than 75% of Brazil’s and more than half of Indonesia’s. The GCF includes states and provinces that are leading the way in building comprehensive, jurisdiction-wide approaches to low emissions development and REDD+ as well as the only jurisdiction in the world (California) that is considering provisions that would recognize offsets from REDD+ as part of its GHG compliance system.
The GCF focuses on all aspects of the effort to reduce emissions from deforestation and establish lasting frameworks for low emissions development. It facilitates the exchange of experiences and lessons learned across leading states and provinces; synchronizes efforts across these jurisdictions to develop policies and programs that provide realistic pathways to forest-maintaining rural development.
More information on the MoU Under2 Climate Change agreement: