National Govt & Politics

Posted: June 02, 2017

Cities, states, businesses pledge commitment to Paris climate pact despite U.S. withdrawal

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

More than 100 businesses, dozens of colleges, 10 states and 83 city mayors announced plans Thursday to continue working toward the goals of the Paris Agreement despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the climate pact, according to multiple reports.

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Headed by billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that it would commit as much as $15 million to support United National Framework Convention on Climate Change and, in particular, the Paris Agreement. The figure represents the U.S. commitment to the climate agreement.

Bloomberg said he is also organizing an effort to have a group of mayors, governors, university presidents and businesses added on to the Paris climate deal.

“Americans are not walking away from the Paris climate agreement,” Bloomberg said. “Americans will honor and fulfill the Paris Agreement by leading from the bottom up – and there isn’t anything Washington can do to stop us.”

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It was not immediately clear how such an idea would be presented to U.N. officials. Christiana Figueres, who served as executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change until 2016, told The New York Times that “there was currently no formal mechanism for entities that were not countries to be full parties to the Parris accord.”

In a letter signed by 83 mayors who collectively represent 40 million Americans, cities pledged to "adopt, honor and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement."

>> Related: Trump withdraws US from Paris climate accord

The letter’s signatories included the mayors of Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Austin, Texas, and Orlando, Florida.

"If the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks,” said the letter. “The world cannot wait — and neither will we."

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The governors of three states, California, Washington and New York, on Thursday announced the creation of an alliance aimed at connecting states “committed to taking aggressive action on climate change.”

In addition to the United States Climate Alliance, seven other states pledged continued support for the agreement, CNN reported.

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Trump announced plans Thursday to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and seek a new deal on climate change, arguing the accord hurt American businesses and was unfair to taxpayers.

The deal, signed by former President Barack Obama and the leaders of 195 other nations, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming.

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