Despite President Donald Trump’s announcement last month that he intended to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord, numerous American cities, states, and businesses say they’re going to adhere to the ambitious climate agreement anyway. A national coalition led by Michael Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown called America’s Pledge launched last week.
On June 1, Trump gave a speech in the White House Rose Garden where he called the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord “draconian,” and said the United States would withdraw from it. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he said at the time.
The announcement drew immediate criticism abroad and throughout the country. Large companies, including major corporations and energy companies, urged against withdrawal and many CEOs quit Trump’s business advisory council in protest.
Efforts such as We Are Still In, the US Climate Alliance, and the Climate Mayors formed in response. America’s Pledge intends to aggregate those commitments as well as those from what the coalition calls “non-Party” actors to report on climate-related activities in the United States.
Upon launching, the coalition of private and public sector leaders included nine states, 227 cities and counties, and about 1,650 businesses and investors, the New York Times reported. Michael Bloomberg contends that emissions levels in the country are determined more by cities, states, and businesses than the federal government so it makes sense for those groups to take action.
“Reducing emissions is good for the economy and good for public health,” Bloomberg said in an announcement about the coalition. “The American government may have pulled out of the Paris Agreement, but American society remains committed to it — and we will redouble our efforts to achieve its goals. We’re already halfway there.”
As part of America’s Pledge, Bloomberg and Brown have commissioned the Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute to work on climate analysis. The initiative also seeks to quantify what the aggregate commitments made by its members will actually mean for future emissions. Brown, Bloomberg, and other members plan to showcase the coalition’s commitments and research later this year at COP23 in Bonn.