First States & Regions Policy Innovation Briefing shows how South Australia engaging local leaders on adaptation

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22 September 2015

NEW YORK: Today at Climate Week NYC, The Climate Group States & Regions launched the first in a new series of Policy Innovation Briefings, detailing innovative climate and energy policies currently being developed at the state and regional level, starting with South Australia.

Following up on a report released during Climate Week NYC 2014 titled 'Age of Experiments: How states and regions are developing the next generation of climate and energy policies', the briefings will shed light on emerging climate policy models, as well as what it will take for them to scale worldwide.

Evan Juska, Head of Policy for The Climate Group, North America said: “In a whole range of areas, states and regions are developing solutions to problems left unanswered by national governments. The briefings will introduce these innovative solutions to governments facing similar issues, and begin a conversation about how they might be replicated.”

The first briefing focuses on South Australia’s innovative approach to adaptation planning, which engages local leaders through “regional committees,” and shares planning costs across multiple levels of government.

After three years of engagement, five of the 12 regional committees have completed adaptation plans, and the remaining seven committees are expected to complete plans by the end of 2016 – putting the state on track for universal adaptation planning.

Michelle English, Manager of South Australia’s Climate Change Unit said: “We wanted to work side by side with local communities to understand their perspective, and to embed it into the planning process.”

With growing evidence that sub-national climate action will be needed to help lessen the “emissions gap” left by insufficient national commitments, these new policy models, aimed at issues like increasing clean energy investment, growing clean tech industries, and increasing climate resilience, have become increasingly important. But in order for them to have large-scale impacts, they must spread to other governments.

Libby Ferguson, Director of States & Regions for The Climate Group said: “With so many states and regions taking innovative and bold climate action, governments today don’t have to figure it  all out on their own. There is usually a lot that they can learn from their global peers, through networks like the States & Regions Alliance, by taking proven solutions from beyond their borders and adapting them to their local circumstances.”

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Climate Week NYC is a key event in the international calendar that brings together leading governments, investors, businesses, innovators and opinion formers. The Climate Group launched Climate Week NYC in 2009, and has acted as the secretariat since its inception.

Host to more than 100 affiliate events from September 21-28, Climate Week NYC 2015 is the collaborative space for climate events in support of the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Climate Week NYC 2015 is supported by BT Group, Siemens, Procter & Gamble, Nike, SkyPower, SolarCity, CBRE Group, and Bank of the West - BNP Paribas; and the We Mean Business coalition members: BSR, The B Team, CDP, Ceres, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and WBCSD.

ClimateWeekNYC.org | @ClimateWeekNYC | #CWNYC

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