Thursday, September 13, 2018

Even Without the Trump Administration, the US Is Upholding the Paris Agreement

States, cities, and companies alone will put the US in touching distance of its climate goals, say governor Jerry Brown and UN special envoy Michael Bloomberg.

California state flag (Photo Credit: Commons) Click to Enlarge.
Rampant wildfires in the west, record high temperatures in the Arctic Circle, severe hurricanes in the Atlantic and the Pacific:  unless we reduce greenhouse gases now, these kinds of destructive “natural” disasters will only get worse.

It would be easy to be despondent about humanity’s chances for success.  The Trump administration has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, moved to weaken California’s fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles, sought to repeal stricter limits on methane, and attempted to prop up coal-fired plants.  But it’s important to keep in mind:  None of those attempts has yet succeeded.

The United States cannot legally withdraw from the Paris Agreement until November 2020.  California and other states have filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s assault on fuel efficiency.  States’ attorneys general have also gone to court to uphold limits on methane leaks.  And market forces continue to drive coal plants out of business because American consumers in red and blue states want cleaner and cheaper energy – and the private sector is delivering.  The cost of renewable energy is now lower than coal in much of the country.

The American people are not waiting on Washington to take action because the benefits are clear.

In fact, since the White House announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, more than 3,000 US cities, states, businesses, and other groups have declared their commitment to the Paris agreement.  We are tracking their progress through an initiative called America’s Pledge.  Together, these groups form the third-largest economy in the world, and they represent more than half the total US population.  They have been ramping up actions to cut carbon pollution and move toward the goals in the Paris Agreement, just as the rest of the world is doing.

Read more at Even Without the Trump Administration, the US Is Upholding the Paris Agreement

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