Donald Trump was the only member of the G20 to not sign a pact to push back against climate change last weekend. Thanks to the President’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement and his administration’s unwillingness to cut the nation’s carbon footprint, he appeared as an appropriately lonely and awkward figure at the gathering in Hamburg.
Let’s be clear, though: Thanks to the efforts of the ever-expanding Climate Alliance – a bipartisan group of state governors, cities mayors, and business CEOs across the nation – it’s not America that’s pulling out of the Paris agreement, it’s just the Trump administration. The group’s objective is to stick to the accords’ greenhouse gas-curbing targets, with or without the White House.
Now, one of the Climate Alliance’s co-founders, California Governor Jerry Brown, has teamed up with businessman and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg to launch “America’s Pledge”. It is an initiative to “compile and quantify the actions of states, cities and businesses” to make sure that their efforts to drawdown their greenhouse gas emissions remain ambitious and on track.
In effect, this is the framework that will make sure that pro-Paris states and cities stick to their carbon footprint-cutting pledges in line with the Paris accord. It is designed to guarantee that the group is turning their bold words into definitive action.
Not only will all their contributions to fighting climate change and achieving low-carbon economies be brought together in a single database, but comprehensive road maps for their future plans will also be tested, analyzed, and made open and accessible to anyone that wants to view them.
These intricately detailed plans will “transparently demonstrate to the international community how these entities can help the US deliver on its pledge under the Paris Agreement.”
The name of this pledge and the carefully chosen language of the press release is designed to emphasize that America, for the most part, is still committed to the Paris agreement, despite the actions of the President. In what former President Obama referred to as the “temporary absence of American leadership,” these states and cities are stepping up to the plate.
“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,” Governor Brown declared in an accompanying press release.
“Reducing emissions is good for the economy and good for public health. 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,” Bloomberg added.
“We’re already halfway there.”