March for Climate Change in D.C.
Despite President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw, Washington, D.C., and Virginia join the long list of states vowing to uphold the Paris climate agreement.
On June 1, in a sunny Rose Garden ceremony, Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris Agreement, under the United Nations Framework Convention, was entered into force on November 4, 2016. The agreement
"aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty."
that the Paris climate agreement placed "draconian" financial burdens on the United States government. Trump also claimed the U.S. would stop contributing to the United Nations' Green Climate Fund. He said the fund costs the U.S. "a fortune." He said that the agreement is "very unfair at the highest level to the United States."
Apparently, now a growing number of state governments
do not agree that the agreement is "very unfair" and have instead vowed to uphold the terms of the agreement.
The United States Climate Alliance
After Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee said
the action "leaves the full responsibility of climate action on states and cities throughout [the] nation." New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a similar statement, calling the decision "reckless." Cuomo vowed that "New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord." Similarly, California Governor Jerry Brown said, "If the President is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states will step up."
Together, the three states comprise over one fifth of the U.S.'s Gross Domestic Product. Together, they formed the United States Climate Alliance. In a release from the office of Governor Inslee, the three states assured their commitment "to achieving the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan."
The overall goal of the Paris climate agreement is to mitigate the production of greenhouse gases. This is supposed to help hold "the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C" within this century. The Obama Administration proposed one of the first motions to uphold the agreement in 2014. The Clean Power Plan aims
to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation by 32 percent within 25 years relative to 2005 levels.
In five days, 10 others joined the alliance; 246 "Climate Mayors" sign.
Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia -- all of these states have joined the United States Climate Alliance. Virginia was the most recent state to join the alliance, with the governor releasing the following statement:
States are not the only local municipalities to rally behind the alliance. On Monday, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser signed an official mayor's order reaffirming the city's support of the agreement. Bowser released a statement after signing the order:
Our values didn’t change on Election Day. The effects of climate change are already here, and without proper planning and collaboration, they will be catastrophic. It is in the country's best interest to take climate change seriously, and as the nation’s capital, we have a special obligation to create policies and implement programs that protect our environment.”
Bowser is one of 246 mayors, representing over 56 million Americans, who signed allegiance to the Paris climate agreement. The 246 "Climate Mayors" vowed to "adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement."
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A few of the Climate Mayors[/caption]
In the coming days, other states and cities may join the effort to uphold to Paris climate agreement; in doing so, they express dissent for the decision of the Trump administration. After all, according to the agreement, the withdrawal cannot be complete until November of 2020
, the same month that the U.S. will elect a new President.