Thursday, June 01, 2017

Governors, Faced with Paris Withdrawal, Pledge Climate Action

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) (left) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) yesterday were among several blue-state leaders who pledged to keep up the fight on climate change no matter what President Trump decides on the Paris Agreement. (Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images) Click to Enlarge.
A host of governors pledged yesterday to intensify their efforts to address climate change regardless of President Trump's ultimate decision over the Paris Agreement.

The proclamations, made mostly by Democrats, were not a surprise in and of themselves.  They nevertheless illustrated the evolution of U.S. climate efforts, as policymakers in green-tinged state capitals assume the responsibility for driving deep reductions in carbon emissions.

State leaders were unsparing in their criticism of Trump, who was widely reported to be on the verge of pulling out of the carbon-cutting agreement yesterday.  Yet many framed their responses in terms of everyday decision making.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said his efforts to promote a carbon tax were more dependent on budget negotiations than the president's decision on Paris.  In Colorado, a purple state boasting coal mines, oil fields and a growing renewable industry, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper pledged to continue working with utilities to lower emissions while reaching out to Republican colleagues in other states to find ways to green the economy.  And in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is preparing for a trip to China next week to hold a series of high-level meetings on climate change and clean energy, the state Senate passed a bill yesterday to receive all its energy from renewable and zero-carbon sources by 2045.

"America's gone AWOL under Trump," Brown told E&E News yesterday.  "Ironically, Trump, by his actions, is giving climate denial a very bad name, making it utterly implausible.  And that is actually building the energy and strength of the contrary movement, which is climate activism and efforts by countries, states and provinces to do the right thing to get our economy aligned with a decarbonized future."

Read more at Governors, Faced with Paris Withdrawal, Pledge Climate Action

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