DUBAI (December 2, 2023) — Today, at COP28, the Subnational Climate Action Leaders’ Exchange (SCALE), marked a successful first year with the launch of a major new initiative to cut methane from the waste sector and discussion with subnational leaders on opportunities for further strengthening climate action across sectors at the city, state, and regional level

Through this work, SCALE incubated a new initiative – Lowering Organic Waste Methane (LOW-Methane) – to jumpstart a dramatic scale-up of global action to cut methane emissions from the waste sector. The ambition of LOW-Methane is to cut at least 1 million metric tons of annual waste sector methane reductions well before 2030 with 40 subnational jurisdictions and to unlock over $10 billion in investment.

Today’s dialogue was a chance to hear directly from subnational leaders on the opportunities they see for raising climate ambition at the local level, as well as the challenges they face and support they need from their national governments, private sector, and others to achieve their climate commitments. Notably, the President of the Inter-American Development Bank highlighted the Too Good to Waste Initiative, launched with the Global Methane Hub and the AquaFund, including recently approved projects totaling  $372.5 million.

“Methane is a critical piece of the climate puzzle,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “But to tackle it, national governments, cities, and states need better data and much more transparency on where emissions are happening. The new LOW-Methane coalition will empower local and national leaders to do more – and more quickly – to reduce methane emissions.”

“To keep a 1.5 C future within reach, we need everyone — cities, states, regions, and national governments —  to keep stepping up their ambition,” said John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. “LOW Methane is going to be a pivotal tool for supercharging multi-level action to tackle methane from waste, which accounts for 20% of global methane emissions.”

At COP27, the U.S. Department of State and Bloomberg Philanthropies joined with five other organizations – C40 Cities, the Center for Global Sustainability, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Under 2 Coalition, and the World Resources Institute – to launch SCALE as a first-of-its-kind initiative to empower subnational champions to drive climate ambition at the national and international level, with an initial focus on accelerating implementation of the Global Methane Pledge.

SCALE has pledged to advance multi-level action across a range of thematic and sectoral goals needed to keep a 1.5-aligned, climate-resilient future within reach, and it will announce its next area of focus by Earth Day in 2024. In its first year, SCALE focused on accelerating the implementation of the Global Methane Pledge and its call for a 30 percent reduction in methane emissions by 2030. The launch of LOW Methane, which comes one year after SCALE was formed, is set to increase global climate ambition by accelerating the adoption and implementation of critical waste sector policies and projects through direct engagement across as many as 40 globally diverse jurisdictions and their national governments.

SCALE was jointly announced by U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Michael R. Bloomberg, Special Envoy to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Ambition and Solutions and Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies at COP27 in Egypt. SCALE aims to harness multi-level governance to empower subnational leaders to fuel ambitious national climate action and, in turn, reduce global emissions. Through targeted analysis, information dissemination, and fostering political will, SCALE will identify priorities for additional action and resource mobilization.

Through SCALE, C40 Cities, the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland, the Under2 Coalition (Secretariat – Climate Group), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities are supporting efforts aim to shape a future where cities, regions, national governments, and more are more connected, compact, and coordinated for sustainable living.