California Governor Teaming with NY Mayor to Track Climate Progress

Kristopher Drake
July 15, 2017

A major initiative to measure USA efforts to cut carbon emissions was announced today in a joint statement by California Governor Jerry Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The dismay amongst Americans and people around the world continues after Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and his increased climate action isolation at last weekend's G-20 meeting.

Since the White House announcement of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, an unprecedented number of USA 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.

Signees must commit to a number of efforts to combat climate change, including calling for emission reductions at the federal level, developing or updating a local climate action plan and regularly reporting a municipal inventory of greenhouse gases.

Bloomberg said: "In the U.S., emission levels are determined far more by cities, states, and businesses than they are by our federal government - and each of these groups is taking action because it's in their own best interest". In addition to the cities, states, and businesses that have committed to action through the We Are Still In coalition, the effort includes the Climate Mayors coalition of cities and the U.S. Climate Alliance group of states. The coalition aims to significantly reduce emissions "at a time of limited federal leadership", according to a press release.

According to a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres & Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa, less than 24 hours after Trump announced the United States' withdrawal from the climate agreement, Bloomberg met with French President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo at the Élysée Palace to reassure the world leaders that Americans are still committed to reaching the United States' climate goals.

"Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord, let's see what happens", said Trump, Xinhua reported.

The partnership between Bloomberg and Brown has amounted to a American shadow cabinet on climate policy, as global leaders have been quick to meet the governor and former mayor as they assure the world the still vested in climate change leadership. In November, Brown and Bloomberg, along with other USA governors, mayors, and business leaders, will compile and showcase existing climate commitments of US subnational and non-state actors at COP23, to be hosted by the Government of Fiji in Bonn, Germany. The goal of America's Pledge is to "raise the bar" and "expand the map" as more governments and companies make commitment to reduce their carbon emissions.

Still, last month in an effort to fill a climate leadership void, Bloomberg, a United Nations envoy on cities and climate change, committed $200 million to support city initiatives including projects to combat global warming through a grant program called the American Cities Initiative. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health.

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