U.S. cities, states rally be­hind Paris cli­mate deal

Group says Amer­i­cans com­mit­ted to goals de­spite Trump back­ing out

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - NATION | WORLD - By Frank Jordans and Dorothee Thiesing

BONN, Ger­many — A group of U.S. states, cities, busi­nesses and uni­ver­si­ties said Satur­day they are still com­mit­ted to curb­ing global warm­ing even as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion is walk­ing away from the Paris cli­mate ac­cord.

But the al­liance, which has an econ­omy larger than Ja­pan and Ger­many com­bined, says it won’t be able to achieve the nec­es­sary cut in green­house gas emis­sions with­out some ef­forts at the fed­eral level.

“It is im­por­tant for the world to know, the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment may have pulled out of the Paris agree­ment, but the Amer­i­can peo­ple are com­mit­ted to its goals, and there is noth­ing Wash­ing­ton can do to stop us,” for­mer New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a global cli­mate meet­ing in Bonn, Ger­many. ‘We are do­ing real stuff ’

Gov. Jerry Brown of Cal­i­for­nia echoed those com­ments.

“In the United States, we have a fed­eral sys­tem, and states have real power as do cities. And when cities and states com­bine to­gether, and then join with pow­er­ful cor­po­ra­tions, that’s how we get stuff done,” he said.

His speech was briefly in­ter­rupted by anti-coal and anti-frack­ing pro­test­ers, who held up ban­ners and shouted “We’re still in! Trump’s still out!”

The group call­ing it­self “Amer­ica’s Pledge” said states, cities and pri­vate groups have been tak­ing con­sid­er­able steps to re­duce emis­sions by pro­mot­ing re­new­able en­ergy use and cli­mate-friendly trans­porta­tion sys­tems.

“This is a pledge, and it’s a pledge that you can cash, be­cause it’s real,” Brown said. “We are do­ing real stuff in Cal­i­for­nia.”

In a re­port, how­ever, the group said that “we can­not un­der­score strongly enough the crit­i­cal na­ture of fed­eral en­gage­ment to achieve the deep de­car­boniza­tion goals the U.S. must un­der­take after 2025.” Aren’t pre­pared to wait

Daniel Firger, one of the re­port’s con­trib­u­tors, said it was in­tended to show that many in the U.S. aren’t pre­pared to wait for Trump to change his mind on cli­mate change again or wait for the next ad­min­is­tra­tion to tackle the is­sue.

“The good news around Trump’s an­nounce­ment to with­draw is that it has gal­va­nized a groundswell of bot­tom-up sup­port from all cor­ners of the U.S. econ­omy,” Firger said.

He noted that the les­sons learned by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and busi­nesses in the U.S. could be ap­plied elsewhere.

Also Satur­day, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel said in her weekly pod­cast that ev­ery coun­try needs to pitch in to keep global tem­per­a­tures from ris­ing.

Merkel also said it’s the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the in­dus­trial coun­tries to de­velop en­vi­ron­ment-friendly tech­nolo­gies that are fu­ture-ori­ented, but “don’t lead to a loss of jobs.”

“We don’t gain any­thing if steel mills, alu­minum plants and cop­per mills leave our coun­tries and go some­where else where en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions are less strict — be­cause then we haven’t made any gains for world cli­mate,” she said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.