Paris Agreement Stories June 1, 2017

Hot on the heels of Donald Trump’s decision to bow to fossil fuel industry pressure and pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement against the wishes of the American people, three US states have announced a coalition to continue implementing the goals of the Paris Agreement.

California Governor Jerry Brown, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the creation of the group called the “United States Climate Alliance” and the three states, which together represent a quarter of US GDP and more than 20% of the nation’s population (but only about 10% of its carbon emissions), are inviting other states to join them.

Update: 68 “Climate Mayors” representing 38 million Americans have also committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Agreement.  These include the non-CA/NY mayors of Boston, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, and many other large cities.  One notable city joining the pact is Pittsburgh – in Mr. Trump’s speech, he noted that he was elected to represent “the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”  Pittsburgh, however, apparently wishes to remain in the Agreement. Also, the governors of Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Connecticut, Minnesota, Virginia and Rhode Island have all proclaimed continued support for the Agreement.

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Mr. Trump has announced that he will pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement, ceasing all implementation as of today. Despite the vast majority of Americans support remaining in the Agreement by a 5:1 margin, and even a 2:1 margin among Republicans, Mr. Trump claimed that the decision to pull out was borne of a desire to follow the will of the people.

The US will consider re-entering the Agreement after “negotiating a new deal” which is more “fair” to the US.  It is unclear what is “unfair” about the Paris Agreement, as the Agreement itself does not set any specific goals for the US or any other country.  Click below the fold for more details of the Agreement and analysis of this decision.

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