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Virginia joins other states in Paris climate goal alliance

06 June 2017

- Minnesota and eight other states, along with Puerto Rico, joined the U.S. Climate Alliance Monday, pledging to uphold targets outlined in the Paris Climate Accord after President Donald Trump made a decision to pull out of the agreement last week.

President Donald Trump says the accord punishes the American economy and he hopes to negotiate a better deal. The Climate Alliance now includes 13 member states.

This also comes as McAuliffe signed an executive directive initiating the process to cap carbon emission by electric utilities in Virginia.

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In addition to California, Washington and NY, the other members of the U.S. Alliance are Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

"As the first state in the Trump era to take executive action to limit carbon emissions and create clean energy jobs, Virginia is proud to join the U.S. Climate Alliance", McAulliffe said in a statement on Monday.

Beyond the state participation, several of the country's largest corporations have also announced their intention to hop on board the alliance train.

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"As sea levels rise, more than 17,000 DE homes, almost 500 miles of roadway and thousands of acres of wildlife habitat including our critical wetlands are at risk of permanent inundation", Carney said. He also cited the health risks posed by rising average temperatures and more extreme weather events.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the three states produced 11 per cent of US emissions in 2014, but now they intend to cut back significantly on that value. The global agreement, reached previous year by 195 countries, aims to reduce the greenhouse gases emissions that are driving climate change.

States have often been testing labs for climate change policies, Phadke said, so the alliance could prove that the Paris emissions reductions and other goals are feasible. DE also has set renewable energy targets and increased energy efficiency with building codes, weatherization and other voluntary programs.

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