Trump hints at future talks on Paris climate accord, division still deep

Trevor Jackson
July 15, 2017

As the Trump administration abandons progressive climate action in favor of deregulation, California Governor Jerry Brown and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a coalition of US states, cities and businesses committed to driving down greenhouse gas emissions "with or without Washington". The two leaders are disagree on climate policy, with Macron a vocal supporter of the Paris Agreement who has openly criticised the Trump's decision to back out of the accord.

Mr Brown said: "We're sending a clear message to the world that America's states, cities and businesses are moving forward with our country's commitments under the Paris Agreement - with or without Washington".

Nevertheless, the development of a focal point for sharing emissions data publicly and transparently will help build the case that fighting climate change and growing the economy are not mutually exclusive. In addition to the cities, states, and businesses that have committed to action through the We Are Still In coalition, the effort includes the Climate Mayors coalition of cities and the U.S. Climate Alliance group of states.

The United States Climate Alliance, dedicated to upholding USA commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change, is making progress.

The overall ambition is to show the worldwide community how the combined effort of these subnational actors can significantly reduce USA greenhouse gas emissions and meet the US pledge "at a time of limited federal leadership".

The overall goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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Outside experts with the World Resources Institute and the Rocky Mountain Institute, two US -based non-profits, have been retained to conduct the study on current and projected emissions of "America's Pledge" affiliates.

"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 United Nations environmental treaties".

"I am convinced that to be effective, action to address climate change must be taken at all levels of society, including by mayors, governors, local leaders, chief executive officers and others", said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said the president "made America into an worldwide laughing stock".

In 2015, during the lead-up to the Paris conference on climate change, the USA submitted its "Nationally Determined Contribution" committing to reduce emissions 26-28% against 2005 levels by 2025. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health.

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