The G20 summit in Hamburg is rapidly approaching, and all eyes are on the interactions between President Trump and the other world leaders – particularly Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, and of course Vladimir Putin. Among a maelstrom of issues, climate change will be front and center, which will pit America and its increasing isolationism up against all other 19 attendees.
It’s not surprising then that coalitions in support of climate action – from collections of major businesses to the Climate Alliance, a bipartisan group of 12 US states – have begun to voice their support for the Paris agreement. One such group, the Under2 Coalition, has made a similar declaration, which is notable for how absolutely expansive it is.
This pact of 176 cities, spread across states and countries scattered all over the planet, represents 1.2 billion people and around $29 billion in combined GDP – about one-third of the global economy. This is arguably the largest and most cohesive show of support for the Paris accords yet, matched only by the combined efforts of China and the EU governments.
“The Paris Agreement includes nearly every country in the world and it is essential that international backing for it continues,” the statement reads. “At a time when action on climate change must be strengthened, we believe it is critical not to compromise on this commitment, even if it requires a statement from less than the full G20.”
The coalition argue that support and action at a governmental level will not be enough, and that cooperation with regional authorities will be required to properly push back against uncontrolled climate change.
“As international climate action moves from the phase of agreeing to one of delivering, it is essential that our global leadership bodies recognize the crucial role of the sub-national governments who will make it happen,” the statement adds.
Named after the primary goal of the agreement – to keep global temperatures from rising by 2°C (3.6°F) by the end of the century – its members work directly with government signatories to achieve low-carbon infrastructures, programs, and economies. From Beijing to London, New Delhi to New York, action is happening from the top-down and at a grassroots level.
It also includes plenty of states and cities in the aforementioned Climate Alliance. The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, has been very proactive in this regard, signing several new climate deals with other countries around the world.
“Despite rejection in Washington, California is all in,” he notes in the statement. “We are fully committed to the Under2 Coalition and the Paris Agreement.”
As ever, when it comes to climate change, America First is translating to America Alone – and we suspect that this will be more evident at the G20 summit than ever before.