U.S. states, cities and businesses defy Trump to support Paris agreement

Billionaire businessman and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and California’s governor Jerry Brown presented a report on Friday at the latest climate conference, outlining climate action by U.S. states, cities, businesses and universities in support of the Paris climate agreement.

The report from America’s Pledge – an initiative that brings together private and public sector leaders to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions and delivers the country’s ambitious climate goals of the Paris Agreement – was released at the U.S. Climate Action Pavilion, a purpose-built exhibition space sponsored by American non-federal leaders at the UN climate change conference in Bonn.

It was presented by America’s Pledge co-chairs Michael Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, and California Governor Edmund J. Brown Jr., the COP 23 Special Advisor for States and Regions.

The report is the first communication to the international community specifically addressing the scope and scale of non-federal climate action in the U.S. following the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

It shows that cities, states and businesses representing more than half the U.S. economy and population have declared their support for the Paris Agreement, including more than 2,300 signatories to the “We Are Still In” declaration.

According to the report, a total of 20 U.S. states, 110 U.S. cities, and over 1,400 businesses with U.S. operations representing $25 trillion in market capitalization and nearly 1.0 gigatonnes of GHG emissions per year have adopted quantified emissions reduction targets.

“The group of American cities, states, and businesses who remain committed to the Paris Agreement represents a bigger economy than any nation outside the U.S. and China,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Together they are helping deliver on the promise of the agreement and ensuring the U.S. remains a global leader in the fight against climate change.”

Bloomberg added that non-federal actors are making significant progress in reducing their emissions, “with or without Washington”.

The America’s Pledge report examines current and potential future opportunities for non-federal actors in the U.S. to deepen and strengthen their role in meeting the U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

As part of the America’s Pledge initiative, a range of non-federal leaders are stepping up to coordinate more closely with each other and international partners to help meet America’s Pledge.

 

Image credit: Walmart via Flickr

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