Defying Trump, Jerry Brown to showcase American climate change efforts

Icon Sportswire  Getty Images

Icon Sportswire Getty Images

"America's Pledge" will collect and analyze climate change data collected by USA states, cities and businesses across the US who are still aligned with the Paris agreement. "We're already halfway there".

Colorado governor John Hickenlooper on Tuesday signed an executive order under which the state will aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by at least 26% from 2005 levels by 2025, reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity sector by 25% by 2025 and 35% by 2030 from 2012 levels, and achieve electricity savings of 2% of total electricity sales per year by 2020. Bloomberg, meanwhile, met with France's President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo within 24 hours of the White House's announcement of the about-face on the Paris Agreement to assure global leaders that many parties in the US were still committed to tackling climate change.

Nevertheless, the development of a focal point for sharing emissions data publicly and transparently will help build the case that fighting climate change and growing the economy are not mutually exclusive.

That historically bad move by Trump has ceded US leadership on fighting climate disruption to other countries, and has even caused some to refer to the global alliance of powers as the G-19, signaling our lack of leadership on the world stage as humanity faces an unprecedented threat.

While launching a website and uniting a dozen-plus US territories are relatively small achievements, the rhetoric is likely to play big across Long Island, where funding for and commercialization of "clean energy" technologies have become socioeconomic lifelines - and environmentalists, economists and other observers lambasted Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

The coalition, dubbed "The American Pledge" seeks to uphold the United States' climate commitments from the Paris Climate Agreement, which President Trump announced a withdrawal from on June 1st.

Over the coming months, California Governor Jerry Brown's Administration will join with Bloomberg Philanthropies (which supports the Sierra Club) and partners to calculate the collective climate action potential of USA states, cities, businesses, universities and others - thousands of which have already committed themselves to cut emissions - and submit that progress to the United Nations. Meanwhile, Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent Bloomberg has taken on a role as the United Nations' envoy for cities and climate change.

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.

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said the president "made America into an worldwide laughing stock". "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". In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.

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