U.S. cities, states, businesses to measure emissions, stick with Paris accord

Jerome Frank
July 15, 2017

California's Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg launched the "America's Pledge" initiative to compile and quantify the actions of federal states, cities and businesses in the USA to reduce their GHG emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. It has been created to inform Americans on state actions to address climate change, providing updates on the progress made to meet the Paris Agreement targets.

"Reducing emissions is good for the economy and good for public health", Bloomberg said in a statement.

Nutall said that while the United Nations welcomes the initiative from US cities, states, and businesses, the challenge will be quantifying the effect of climate action from diverse and potentially overlapping actors, a process that will likely stretch well beyond this year's climate conference. The process of developing America's Pledge will also provide a roadmap for increased climate ambition from USA states, cities, businesses and others, and will transparently demonstrate to the worldwide community how and in which ways these entities can help the US deliver on its pledge under the Paris Agreement.

Over the past few days, U.S. federal states and other USA and global non-state actors announced a number of climate initiatives that aim to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, and for an accelerated transition to 100% renewables.

The overall ambition is to show the worldwide community how the combined effort of these subnational actors can significantly reduce USA greenhouse gas emissions and meet the US pledge "at a time of limited federal leadership".

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Since President Trump announced he will withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, over 1,400 USA cities, states and businesses have stepped up to vow that they would do so independently of the federal government.

The overall goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

While backed by congressional Republicans, the US withdrawal has been met with criticism on the world stage.

In 2015, during the lead-up to the Paris conference on climate change, the US submitted its "Nationally Determined Contribution", committing to reduce emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025 (based on 2005 levels). "The U.S. Climate Alliance is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Agreement, regardless of Washington's irresponsible actions". The Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute will jointly lead an inclusive analytical effort to measure emission reduction efforts by those aligned with America's Pledge.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres also noted his support of the initiative. "If the federal government insists on abdicating leadership on this issue, it will be up to the American people to step forward - and in Virginia we are doing just that".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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