US cities, businesses highlight climate efforts at UN meeting
- A new "America's Pledge" report outlines the actions businesses, cities and U.S. states are taking to reduce emissions, fight climate change and help uphold the nation's now-defunct commitment to the Paris climate accord.
- Some 20 states, 110 cities and more than 1,400 businesses have adopted quantified emissions reduction targets, the report concluded. While that will not make up for the Trump Administration's decision to pull out of the Paris accord, those actors represent $25 trillion in market capitalization and nearly a gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
- At the United Nations' Climate Change Conference in Germany, businessman and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that actors within the country would continue to uphold their end of the commitment. "There is nothing Washington can do to stop us," he said, according to USA Today.
Bloomberg and California Gov. Jerry Brown told the U.N. COP23 climate conference in Germany this weekend that while the federal government has abandoned its global commitment to fight climate change, a wide range of parties within the country are still working to rapidly reduce emissions.
According to USA Today, Bloomberg has called for non-federal entities to "have a seat at the table," as they replace the federal government's commitment. The America's Pledge report concludes that if these non-federal actors were a country, their economy would be the third largest in the world — larger than all but two countries party to the Paris Agreement.
“California strongly supports the United Nations’ unstoppable move to decarbonize the world economy,” Brown said in a statement. In addition to leading California, Brown is also COP23 Special Advisor for States and Regions. “We join with states and cities across America — and around the world — that will continue aggressive and creative action to curb greenhouse gas emissions.”
The United States committed under the 2015 Paris Agreement to reduce emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. President Trump, however, campaigned on revitalizing the fossil fuel industry, in particular coal, and subsequently announced the U.S. would withdraw from the pact. The United States is the only country in the world not a party to the agreement.
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