The world is not on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, nor are we adequately prepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Better engaging subnational actors - cities, states, and regions - can help get us back on track, especially in collaboration with civil society, the private sector, research institutions and more. However, subnational actors often encounter significant challenges in achieving their ambitious climate targets. They need support to overcome the barriers posed by limited resources, technical capacities and fragmented political will.  

The Subnational Climate Action Leaders Exchange (SCALE) aims to leverage multi-level governance to significantly accelerate progress on subnational climate action. In conjunction with other Integrated Climate Action projects, SCALE is a platform for showcasing the efforts of leading cities, states and regions; facilitating peer-to-peer exchange and capacity building; promoting multi-level and cross-sector dialogue; and connecting national and subnational governments to relevant tools and resources that support the development of additional programs and technical assistance. 

SCALE is a three-year project launched at COP27, supported by the U.S. Department of State and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and implemented by WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, C40 Cities, the Under2Coalition, the University of Maryland and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  

SCALE is currently developing two tracks of activities:  

The SCALE Forum will support a series of dialogues and a knowledge hub. These efforts will mobilize multi-level climate action by fostering political will, informing and empowering key stakeholders, and identifying priorities for additional action and resource mobilization through SCALE Accelerators. 

SCALE Accelerators are focused efforts to speed and scale up action on specific topics, with lessons learned feeding back into the SCALE Forum. The objective is to incubate new partners and initiatives that support and expand the number of ambitious, multi-level climate commitments at the city, state, regional and national levels, and to mobilize resources for implementation at scale. These resources may include financing, technical expertise, data or analytical capacity, and/or human resources. The first SCALE Accelerator is the Lowering Organic Waste Methane (LOW Methane) Partnership, aiming to partner with 40 subnational jurisdictions and their national government counterparts to unlock $10 billion to cut methane emissions from waste by 1 million tonnes per year by 2030.

Photo by WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities