This isn’t an ordinary website. The Non-state Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) website acknowledges (and indirectly encourages) climate change commitments by sub-national governments and companies. As countries are still at the negotiating table, other actors are stepping up. The role of companies, different levels of government, and also industry organizations is substantial and increasingly coming to light. These actors are not only key to climate change mitigation and adaptation, but encourage action at national and international levels.
The site is hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and was just released today, December 11, 2014 on Climate Action day of COP 20 in Lima, Peru. There are currently 319 cities, 69 sub-national regions, and 261 companies taking 913 actions on climate.
The visually appealing and user-friendly site allows for the review of quantitative and qualitative commitments made by participants. Information can be explored by individual actions or those taken as part of cooperative initiatives to see who is doing what. Users can also look to a specific area of action. For example, exploring actions taken towards emission reduction shows 647 individual actions taken and 32 cooperative actions. An example of a cooperative action is The Low-Carbon Sustainable Rail Transport Challenge to increase efficiency and reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. The challenge has 205 participating companies and industry organizations with the names of the participants displayed.
Other areas of action to explore are urban environment, renewable energy, land use, low emissions development, resilience, non-CO2 greenhouse gases, and carbon capture use and storage. Taking a look at climate action in regards to land use shows 21 cooperative actions ranging from investments and pilot projects on climate smart coffee production in 2015 to a goal of removing commodity-driven deforestation from supply chains. Actions reported on the site are provided by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Carbonn Climate Registry, and a few other sources. Any actors wishing to submit their commitments are encouraged to contact these data providers to contribute free of charge.
Because these actions are not technically binding, some may think they are not valuable. However, the power of transparency and accountability to stakeholders can encourage new actors to make commitments and actors currently listed on the site to follow through. We are excited to have this consolidated resource to see who is doing what on climate.