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Defying Trump, Jerry Brown to showcase American climate change efforts

15 July 2017

The pledge plans to track the efforts of those initiatives, so all of the groups who have promised to keep American emissions under the 26% to 28% of 2005 levels by 2025 can ensure they do so.

"To see states and cities in the USA and territories and regions around the globe align their ambition and plans with the aims of the Paris agreement is nearly unprecedented in the history of U.N. environmental treaties", Nick Nuttall, director of communications and outreach for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) told ThinkProgress.

The American coalition now includes 227 cities and counties, nine states and about 1,650 businesses and investors.

"In the US, 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.

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Since the White House announcement of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, an unprecedented number of U.S. states, cities, businesses, and colleges and universities have reaffirmed their support for the Paris Agreement through collaborations including the "We Are Still In" declaration, the Climate Mayors coalition of cities, the U.S. Climate Alliance group of states, and others.

On a national and global level, climate action by cities and states can make a big difference.

Jerry Brown announced yet another plan Wednesday to keep the United States on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the worldwide Paris climate agreement. Jerry Brown, wasted no time raising climate issues with China's President Xi Jinping when he visited Beijing last month, laying the groundwork for state-to-nation agreements and mutual assistance to achieve shared goals. "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". NAZCA, which was launched at the 2014 United Nations climate conference in Lima, Peru, already has some 12,549 commitments from cities, territories, regions, and businesses from around the world.

First, state governments are not just acting for, and among, themselves, but they are essentially brokering global treaties with foreign governments.

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But in abandoning the accord, Trump said the federal government would not honor those pledges, which were non-binding. "Sub-national governments are a subset of a national economy, and clearly if they are all moving then the national economy is moving in terms of climate action". President Donald Trump had other plans, and withdrew the United States from the global accord in June. The analysis, led by the think-tanks World Resources Institute and Rocky Mountain Institute, will compare that effect with business-as-usual scenarios, as well as the Obama-era Paris commitment. And it's unclear how participating states will drive down emissions - Colorado, for instance, has joined the coalition but announced that it will rely on voluntary emissions reductions from the energy sector.

The latest moves from U.S. states, cities and businesses came as Trump took a state visit to France to meet the country's recently elected President Emmanuel Macron this week.

"There are around seven million people dying from air pollution every year", said Schwarzenegger.

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Defying Trump, Jerry Brown to showcase American climate change efforts