America’s Pledge, US Corporations and States Uphold Paris Accord

12 Jul America’s Pledge, US Corporations and States Uphold Paris Accord

On July 12, California Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg launched America’s Pledge on climate change, a new initiative to compile and quantify the actions of states, cities and businesses in the United States to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Since the White House announcement of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, an unprecedented number of U.S. states, cities, businesses, and colleges and universities have reaffirmed their support for the Paris Agreement through collaborations including the “We Are Still In” declaration, the Climate Mayors coalition of cities, the US Climate Alliance group of states, and others.

Building on this positive momentum, the America’s Pledge initiative will for the first time aggregate the commitments of these and other “non-Party actors” in a report on the full range of climate-related activities across the whole of U.S. society. The process of developing America’s Pledge will also provide a roadmap for increased climate ambition from U.S. states, cities, businesses and others, and will transparently demonstrate to the international community how and in which ways these entities can help the U.S. deliver on its pledge under the Paris Agreement.

“Today we’re sending a clear message to the world that America’s states, cities and businesses are moving forward with our country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement — with or without Washington,” said Governor Jerry Brown, who was recently named Special Advisor for States and Regions ahead of the United Nations’ 23rd Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23).

As reported by the New York Times,  certain questions on the measurement on the various commitments remain.  “If a business is in a city or state, and they’ve all made climate pledges, do you count them all?” said Elizabeth Sawin, a director of Climate Interactive, a nonprofit research organization. “Adding all this up will be a very challenging task.”

Paul Bodnar, a managing director at the Rocky Mountain Institute, said the analysis would tackle that problem of double-counting. He said the exercise was aimed at providing a better picture for the international community of what efforts continued at the local level to reduce emissions.

The study would show that “the U.S. is not suddenly a black hole for climate action, just because the Trump administration withdrew from the Paris commitment,” he said.

More details and action plan available here.