Wisconsin Is Joining The Climate Alliance

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Wisconsin will be joining the likes of California, Colorado, and North Carolina in the US Climate Alliance, Governor Tony Evers (Democrat) announced on Tuesday. 

"It’s a new day in Wisconsin and it’s time to lead our state in a new direction where we embrace science, where we discuss the very real implications of climate change, where we work to find solutions, and where we invest in renewable energy," Evers said in a statement.

"By joining the US Climate Alliance, we will have support in demonstrating that we can take climate action while growing our economy at the same time."

The alliance is a band of "rebel" states across the political spectrum, who have promised to fulfill their end of the Paris Accord in light of Trump's decision to withdraw from the international climate agreement back in 2017.

That decision means the US is now the only country in the world not signed and committed. Even Syria – a country in the midst of a 7-year-long civil war – has pledged to do its bit to avert climate catastrophe

Each state in the alliance has promised to reduce its emissions in line with the target set out for the US in the Paris Agreement, meaning a total reduction of 26 to 28 percent (or more) on 2005 levels before 2025. 

The Governors of California, New York, and Washington were the "Founding Fathers" of the group, announcing their decision to forge a breakaway group and re-commit to the Paris Agreement in June 2017.

Combined the three states represented 68 million people, over a fifth of US Gross National Product (GDP), and more than 10 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. Within days they were joined by the likes of Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Hawaii. 

Illinois, New Mexico, and Michigan signed up to the alliance earlier this year. Wisconsin brings the total number up to 21.

"Governor Evers has been vocal about how climate change poses a real threat to Wisconsin’s communities and economy," US Climate Alliance Executive Director Julie Cerqueira said.

"We look forward to working with the Governor on his priorities to invest in the state’s transportation infrastructure, increase locally produced renewable energy, and protect natural and working lands across Wisconsin."

Together these 21 states represent almost half (49 percent) of the US population and more than half of the country's GDP. 

Surveys repeatedly show that despite the climate-skeptic stance of the current administration, the bulk of Americans support climate change mitigation policy.

According to a 2018 poll, close to 80 percent believe government officials of all levels bear at least some responsibility to rein in climate change. While another suggests eight in 10 would like the federal government to meet the cuts originally called for in the 2015 Paris Agreement.  

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