In response to the federal government’s failure to take action against climate change, Michael Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown have launched a new initiative to track and quantify the contributions of local governments and businesses to tackle greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.
Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has only served to reaffirm the commitment of U.S. states, cities, businesses and educational institutions as evidenced through the We Are Still In declaration, the Climate Mayors Coalition of Cities, the U.S. Climate Alliance and others.
America’s Pledge builds on this momentum by aggregating commitments into a report on the climate-related activities underway across the U.S. to demonstrate to the international community how these organizations can contribute to the achievement of the commitments outlined for the U.S. under the Paris Agreement — a 26 – 28 percent emissions reduction against 2005 levels by 2025.
“In the U.S., emission levels are determined far more by cities, states and businesses than they are by our federal government — and each of these groups is taking action because it’s in their own best interest,” said Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. “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. We’re already halfway there.”
To bring the report to fruition, the Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute will lead the analysis of actions being taken across the country by subnational and non-state actors, the results of which will be showcased at COP23 to be hosted in November 2017 by the Government of Fiji in Bonn, Germany.
The initiative will also work to quantify the aggregate impact of these commitments on projected future emissions, comparing against both a business-as-usual trajectory of anticipated GHG under likely Trump Administration policies and the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution of 26 – 28 percent reductions against a 2005 baseline by 2025.
America’s Pledge intends to present a roadmap for expanding non-party climate commitments to reduce U.S. emissions. The plan will include ways in which states, cities, businesses and public institutions can further drive down impacts and provide climate leaders with a toolkit to meet the U.S.’s Paris commitments, which the G20 last week described as “irreversible.”
“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,” said Brown, who was recently named Special Advisor for States and Regions ahead of COP23.
“I am convinced that to be effective, action to address climate change must be taken at all levels of society, including by mayors, governors, local leaders, chief executive officers and others,” said António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General. “This is demonstrably not an issue that can be addressed by national governments alone. The effort to aggregate and quantify the actions of subnational authorities and non-party stakeholders in the United States via ‘America’s Pledge’ is welcome.”