Connecting state and local government leaders

As Trump Demurs on Climate Action, Governors Try to Build Momentum

The stacks from the Valero Benicia Refinery in California are seen as a pedestrian walks in a nearby neighborhood.

The stacks from the Valero Benicia Refinery in California are seen as a pedestrian walks in a nearby neighborhood. Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

The U.S. Climate Alliance has a new website measuring emissions reductions by its state members “as the federal government abdicates its responsibility and ignores basic science.”

The U.S. Climate Alliance has launched a website that is tracking the momentum of its member states to address the challenges of climate change.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, California Gov. Jerry Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee—who chair the bipartisan alliance currently consisting of 13 states and Puerto Rico—responded to President Trump’s continued rejection of the Paris Agreement at the G20 Summit by establishing guiding principles for state-based climate action.

Progress by states in meeting and exceeding the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets set by the Paris Agreement will be documented, with the current alliance members representing 33 percent of the U.S. population, 1.3 million clean energy jobs and a gross domestic product of $7.16 trillion.

"As the federal government abdicates its responsibility and ignores basic science, states across the nation are picking up the mantle of climate leadership," Cuomo said an announcement. "Together we are showing the world it’s possible to protect our planet while also creating good-paying jobs and growing our economies.”

The coalition still hopes to achieve the U.S.’s original target of reducing emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels.

Alliance principles are threefold: States will lead on climate change because of the “serious threat” to the environment; that action benefits states’ finances and public health; and an aggressive response means Paris Agreement goals remain achievable.

"We are ready to leverage our considerable collective authority to act on climate through policies related to clean energy, utilities, transportation and more,” Inslee said in a statement.

Besides California, New York and Washington, the alliance’s other state members are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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