'America's Pledge' promises USA action on climate despite Trump

Geneva Matthews
July 15, 2017

The group, led by Governor Jerry Brown of California and Mr Michael Bloomberg, a former NY mayor, plans to work with outside experts to measure the effects of their pledges, and to announce an early tally at a United Nations climate conference this year.

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. In a public statement, Bloomberg said, "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". The goal of the alliance is to bring states together to reduce emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels, in order to meet or exceed the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan, which Trump has promised to undo.

"In the USA, emission levels are determined far more by cities, states, and businesses than they are by our federal government - and each of these groups is taking action because it's in their own best interest", said Michael Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. The process of developing America's Pledge will also provide a roadmap for increased climate ambition from USA states, cities, businesses and others, and will transparently demonstrate to the worldwide community how and in which ways these entities can help the US deliver on its pledge under the Paris Agreement.

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

With the glaring omission of the United States, the agreement was again ratified by all attendees of the 2017 G20 summit, held July 7 and 8 in Germany.

"Although the focus right now is on the states and cities in the United States following the announcement by the new administration, the fact is that this is part of a movement of sub-national governments around the world to contribute to the global climate agenda", Nuttall said. "The effort to aggregate and quantify the actions of subnational authorities and non-Party stakeholders in the United States via "America's Pledge" is welcome". America's Pledge is not intended as substitute for USA federal government responsibility for climate policy and action.

According to a joint press release, NGOs including the Rocky Mountain Institute and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will be tasked with compiling and quantifying data.

Reaching those same commitments without the help of the federal government will be an uphill battle, especially if big emitters like Texas remain indifferent to the effort.

Presenting the legislative package to state senate lawmakers yesterday, Brown argued there was an urgent need to combat climate change, which he described as a "threat to organised existence", according to US News. "There is a real hope that over time we can actually achieve what Paris has asked the world to achieve, which is to spare the world from unsafe climate change", he said.

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