A new initiative has been launched to drive subnational climate change efforts across the US in the face of limited national leadership.
Following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, California Governor Jerry Brown and United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael Bloomberg, have launched ‘America’s Pledge on climate change’.
The scheme aims to compile and quantify the actions of states, cities and businesses in the US, to continue driving down their greenhouse gas emissions at a rate consistent with the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.
It also hopes to provide a roadmap for increased climate ambition from states, cities, businesses and other “non-Party actors”, as well as demonstrate how these entities can still significantly reduce emissions and help the US deliver on the international commitments it previously made.
Mr Bloomberg said: “In the US, emission levels are determined far more by cities, states, and businesses than they are by our federal government – and each of these groups is taking action because it’s in their own best interest.
“Reducing emissions is good for the economy and good for public health. The American government may have pulled out of the Paris Agreement but American society remains committed to it – and we will redouble our efforts to achieve its goals. We’re already halfway there.”
Hawaii has become the first US state to formally adopt pledges backing the Paris climate agreement.