Defying Trump, Jerry Brown to showcase American climate change efforts

Defying Trump, Jerry Brown to showcase American climate change efforts

It's the latest effort by cities and states, and Brown in particular, to fight back against President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the global pact.

The American coalition now includes 227 cities and counties, nine states and about 1,650 businesses and investors.

This time, he's teaming up with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to launch "America's Pledge", an initiative to compile all of the climate change-fighting commitments of states, cities, businesses and universities in one place where they can be easily tracked and shared.

Now boasting 14 member states and territories - including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware, Virginia, Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, Hawaii and Puerto Rico - representing 33 percent of the US population, the alliance's No. 1 principle is continued support of the Paris Agreement, including the USA goal of ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions roughly 28 percent from 2005 levels. Cities are responsible for 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, so even actions that seem hyper-local - like increasing energy efficiency for municipal buildings or replacing fossil-fuel powered city buses with an electric fleet - can help bend the global emissions curve.

"Today 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", Brown said in a statement.

The United States Climate Alliance, a bi-partisan group of states, is committed to upholding the agreement. "The effort to aggregate and quantify the actions of subnational authorities and non-Party stakeholders in the United States via "America's Pledge" is welcome". NAZCA, which was launched at the 2014 United Nations climate conference in Lima, Peru, already has some 12,549 commitments from cities, territories, regions, and businesses from around the world. "This is demonstrably not an issue that can be addressed by national governments alone".

Canadian fisherman killed by whale as he cut it from rope tangle
Joe Howlett, who also worked as a lobster fisherman, was the co-founder of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team . LeBlanc added that any disentanglement attempt carries serious risks, and whales can be unpredictable.

The United Nations' chief, António Guterres, said in a statement the plan to assess how USA cities, states and others are contributing to slashing global greenhouse gas emissions was "welcome". If a city is located in a state, and both are part of the coalition, for instance, how are those emissions reductions counted?

But in abandoning the accord, Trump said the federal government would not honor those pledges, which were non-binding.

"Something could happen with respect to the Paris Accord, let's see what happens".

The new pledge will record and track those individual commitments and measure their cumulative effect on reducing emissions.

"[The commitments] bode well for the years and decades to come", he said.

Still, last month in an effort to fill a climate leadership void, Bloomberg, a United Nations envoy on cities and climate change, committed $200 million to support city initiatives including projects to combat global warming through a grant program called the American Cities Initiative.

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