IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

Initiatives of sub-national governments, corporations and non-governmental organizations

The preponderance of the literature reviews nationally based governmental instruments, but corporations, local- and regional authorities, NGOs and civil groups can also play a key role and are adopting a wide variety of actions, independent of government authorities, to reduce emissions of GHGs. Corporate actions range from voluntary initiatives to emissions targets and, in a few cases, internal trading systems. The reasons corporations undertake independent actions include the desire to influence or pre-empt government action, to create financial value, and to differentiate a company and its products. Actions by regional, state, provincial and local governments include renewable portfolio standards, energy-efficiency programmes, emission registries and sectoral cap-and-trade mechanisms. These actions are undertaken to influence national policies, address stakeholder concerns, create incentives for new industries, or create environmental co-benefits. NGOs promote programmes to reduce emissions through public advocacy, litigation and stakeholder dialogue. Many of the above actions may limit GHG emissions, stimulate innovative policies, encourage the deployment of new technologies and spur experimentation with new institutions, but by themselves generally have limited impact. To achieve significant emission reductions, these actions must lead to changes in national policies (high agreement, much evidence) [13.4].