Rebel US Governors And Mayors Launch "America's Pledge" To Fight Climate Change

Mary Anne Hitt
Sierra Club Beyond Coal director Mary Anne Hitt in Paris

The announcement comes as California's Democratic governor leads efforts to push back against President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, a 2015 deal made among almost 200 nations that committed each country to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Now, one of the Climate Alliance's co-founders, California Governor Jerry Brown, has teamed up with businessman and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg to launch "America's Pledge".

"Reducing emissions is good for the economy and good for public health".

The alliance - launched in May, just hours after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the worldwide greenhouse-gas action plan - this week flipped the switch on its first website, an online hub designed "to inform Americans on state actions to address climate change after the US was the lone holdout in affirming the Paris Agreement at the G20 Summit", according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

"The American government may have pulled out of the Paris Agreement, but American society remains committed to it - and we will redouble our efforts to achieve its goals", said Mr Bloomberg, a United Nations special envoy for cities and climate change.

Launching the initiative, Bloomberg - the UN Secretary-General's special envoy for cities and climate change - said USA emissions were determined far more by cities, states and businesses than the federal government, adding that it was also in their best interests to take action. It is an initiative to "compile and quantify the actions of states, cities and businesses" to make sure that their efforts to drawdown their greenhouse gas emissions remain ambitious and on track.

The United Nations' chief, António Guterres, said in a statement the plan to assess how USA cities, states and others are contributing to slashing global greenhouse gas emissions was "welcome".

In a statement for the coalition of pro-Paris Agreement signatories We Are Still In, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe challenged Trump's decision to retreat from the climate deal.

"Something could happen with respect to the Paris Accord, let's see what happens".

"The American government may have pulled out of the Paris Agreement, but American society remains committed to it - and we will redouble our efforts to achieve its goals", said Bloomberg in a statement. President Macron has been critical of Trump's approach to climate change. "We're already halfway there".

In addition, the America's Pledge initiative will work to quantify the aggregate impact of these commitments on projected future emissions, comparing against both a business-as-usual (BAU) trajectory of projected greenhouse gas emissions under likely Trump Administration policies, and the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution of 26-28% reductions against a 2005 baseline by 2025. "If it happens, that will be wonderful, and if it doesn't, that'll be OK too", President Trump said.

These intricately detailed plans will "transparently demonstrate to the global community how these entities can help the United States deliver on its pledge under the Paris Agreement".

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