New Hampshire has joined 48 other states and cities to sign a non-binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The pledge is called the Under 2 MOU (MOU is short for memorandum of understanding, and “Under 2” refers to the goal of keeping temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius).
It got started in May with twelve original signers, including US states like Vermont and California but also Catalonia, Spain, Ontario Canada and Acre, Brazil. Today Lombardy and Sardinia, Italy will join the group along with New Hampshire, meaning the signers represent more than 500 million people. The signers are mostly "subnational," meaning states and provinces, but a few countries are on board as well.
“That represents $14.7 trillion dollars’ worth of GDP and if you put them all together you’d get an economy that would be second largest in the world, second only to the United States,” says Alex Barnum, with the California EPA.
In a statement Governor Maggie Hassan said the agreement would allow “new opportunities for collaboration and to share information on best practices.”
The goal of the agreement is to push for more aggressive carbon goals in the upcoming Paris talks. There is, however, no mechanism to ensure that the cities and states follow through on their pledges.