Climate action: U.S. cities, states, and businesses step up and vow to meet Paris climate commitments

The U.S. could meet 60 percent of its Paris commitment through efforts of cities, states and businesses.  

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Image credit: Zach D. Roberts/NationofChange

More than 1,400 U.S. cities, states, and businesses have joined a growing coalition that vows to stay committed to the Paris climate accord.

The groups, which include several Fortune 500 businesses, signed a statement, called “We Are Still In” shortly after President Trump’s announcement that his administration plans to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

President Trump claims that he will consider a renegotiation of the Paris climate deal as long as it “puts America first.” The UN and several U.S. allies have stated that such a renegotiation is impossible.

The following map shows the states and cities that have pledged their support:

Although it would be better for the United States as a whole to pledge (and follow through with) its commitment to the deal, a recent Sierra Club analysis showed that the U.S. could meet 60 percent of its Paris commitment through efforts of cities, states and businesses.  

This new alliance, dubbed the United States Climate Alliance, was launched by California, New York, and Washington, following President Trump’s announcement.

Other states include Massachusetts and Vermont, which both have Republican governors.

All of the alliance’s members together represent an economy so large it would only be considered second to the United States and China.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released the following statement:

“As the federal government turns its back on the environment, New York and states across the country are picking up the mantle of climate leadership and showing the world it’s possible to address climate change while also creating good-paying careers.”

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump said during his announcement, sparking Pittsburg’s mayor, Bill Peduto, to respond directly: “Fact: Hillary Clinton received 80% of the vote in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh stands with the world & will follow Paris Agreement.”

In addition to states and cities, more than 1,100 businesses and 280 institutional investors, including at least two dozen Fortune 500 companies, have pledged their support. Elon Musk of Tesla and Bob Iger of Disney announced their resignation from the president’s business advisory council in protest of the President’s decision.

States, cities, and businesses are continuing to commit to this new alliance on nearly a daily basis. Time will tell if their follow through makes a difference.

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