The R20 is not just another NGO or network of regions. It is a real coalition of forces that collectively believe that sustainable development and green economic development can be tackled at the subnational level…Climate change cannot be solved by the UN alone, or by national governments alone, or by the private sector alone or by NGOs alone. Such a challenge, which is really huge and so complex, needs a new global governance, through a sound coalition of expertise, decision-making and finance…I do think that the R20 coalition can be considered as a prototype for a new governance system…where all stakeholders can sit at the same table, discuss, listen to each other, find solutions, and commit to action, within the context of their respective needs and responsibilities.
— Arnold Schwarzenegger, R20 Founding Chair

About the R20

Inspired by the success of state action on climate change, the R20 is a non-profit organization founded in 2010 by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and several other leaders of subnational or regional governments in collaboration with the United Nations. The purpose of the R20 is to facilitate climate change solutions by helping our member regions to implement low carbon economic development projects in sectors such as energy efficiency retrofits, waste reduction, and renewable energy deployment. We do this by working in three primary aspects of development: policy, technology, and finance.

R20 Members and Partners

R20 is focused on action and dedicates its resources to low carbon economic development projects where it can add measurable value. It does this by working with its Members and Partners. R20’s Members are subnational governments (states, provinces and other regional governments). R20 Partners are active organizations that participate in R20 projects, including academic institutions, corporations, financial institutions, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and United Nations programs.  Through its Members, Partners and Observers, R20's activities connect more than 600 subnational and local governments around the world.

What Makes the R20 Unique?

As projects are completed, R20 negotiates “success fees” with governments, technology providers, or finance sources. Within five years, R20 plans to be financially self-sustaining and will no longer need to compete with other NGOs for limited philanthropic funds. This approach not only makes the organization more stable and sustainable, it also serves as tangible evidence that R20 programs are working to tackle climate change through low carbon economic development and that its services are valued and necessary. 

What is SGA's Role in the R20?

SGA co-founded the R20 in 2011 along with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and several other leaders of sub-national or regional governments in collaboration with the United Nations.   SGA works closely with the R20 to support its mission and its projects by providing expertise and guidance to government officials, policy makers and business leaders in order to accelerate the adoption and implementation of climate policies and green projects both in the U.S. and abroad.  This work is central to our mission which is to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and transition us to a green economy. 

To read more about the R20 Regions of Climate Action, please visit the official R20 website.