Futurism

An Alliance Upholding the Paris Agreement Now Represents a Third of the U.S. Population

In Brief


U.S. President Donald Trump decided to back out of the Paris climate deal two months ago. This doesn’t mean, however, that the nation has hung up the gloves in the global fight against climate change. A group of states is taking the lead.

The Will to Fight

When a door closes, a window opens, says an old adage. Well, for a number of states and their effort to fight climate change, it’s not enough to open a window — they’re keeping the door open. Almost immediately after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the country’s commitment to the historic Paris Climate Agreement, the United States Climate Alliance was born.

First there were three — California, New York, and Washington State. “I don’t believe fighting reality is a good strategy — not for America, not for anybody,”  California governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. previously said in a statement. “If the President is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states will step up.”

Image Credit: United States Climate Alliance

Now, the alliance boasts a membership of 13 states and Puerto Rico representing a bi-partisan coalition “committed to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions [26-28 percent from 2005 levels] consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.” Latest to join the group is Colorado, after governor John Hickenlooper passed an executive order to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions before 2025.

A Firm Commitment

So far, the U.S. Climate Alliance represents more than 33 percent of the U.S. population. That’s roughly $7.16 trillion of the nation’s GDP. The 14 members also cover a total of 1.3 million clean energy jobs. “This is a grassroots-based movement,” Gov. Hickenlooper said in a statement, the Denver Post reported. “That groundswell will build into a national movement.”

Paris Climate Agreement
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Clearly, the alliance is not something that can be ignored or easily dismissed — and they’ve been showing it. Each of the governors of these states have firmed up efforts in their respective states to make sure they meet the goals set by the Paris accords.

Above all, what these states represent is hope for a cleaner future. At the very least, it means that the U.S. — currently the second largest contributor to greenhouse gasses, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists — isn’t letting up on efforts to save our planet, despite the seeming absence of federal support.

As Washington state governor Jay Inslee said, “Our collective efforts to act on climate will ensure we maintain the [United States’] commitment to curb carbon pollution while advancing a clean energy economy that will bring good-paying jobs to America’s workers.”

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