The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) introduced an updated factsheet on the US Climate Alliance, a group of states that have committed to uphold their emissions reduction targets under the Paris Climate Agreement, which will lead to increased deployment of solar and other renewable energy sources. Already 13 states have signed on to the agreement and 10 more have expressed interest in signing on to the alliance as well.
The alliance was formed by California, New York and Washington on June 1, immediately after President Donald Trump (R) announced that the US would with withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which was signed by President Barack Obama (D). The move by Trump was, to say the least, controversial, as the US became the only nation to rescind its commitment. Now an increasing number of states, cities and towns led by both parties, have signed onto the alliance or other promises to curb emissions or transition to 100 percent clean energy.
In fact, six more states joined the alliance the next day and more have signed on since. On June 6 Hawaii enacted a law formally committing the state to the Paris Agreement and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) was the most recent to commit his state to the Paris Accord on July 11. Now, fully 32.3 percent of the US population and 37.7 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product comes from the signatories, according to EESI’s fact sheet.
“The goal of the alliance is to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 and to meet or exceed the targets of the US Clean Power Plan (a 32 percent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030), even if the plan is abandoned by the Trump Administration, as seems likely,” explained EESI’s Richard Nunno in the fact sheet. “These actions would help fulfill the global community's goal, as set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement, to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).”
Support for the Paris agreement goes beyond states as well, EESI said in the fact sheet. The National League of Cities (NLC), representing over 19,000 US cities and towns condemned Trump’s decision and more than 70 local leaders signed its climate action letter to President Trump.
At this point 36 cities have already committed to transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050 or sooner. Some, like Aspen, CO, have already made that transition. Fully 100 cities have joined The Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100 percent Clean Energy as well.
While the US has begun the process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, it won’t be able to fully withdraw at this point until Nov. 4, 2020. But the commitments by these states and cities could help the US achieve its previously pledged goals. Still, “Several analysts have argued that withdrawal from the Agreement threatens to make the United States an international pariah,” Nunno wrote. “It could also undermine international cooperation with our erstwhile allies on issues unrelated to climate change. Pundits argue that at a minimum, it would amount to ceding political, economic and moral influence internationally.”Tweet