US Federal States, Cities Commit to Upholding Paris Agreement
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Following President Trump’s announcement of US’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change made on 1 June 2017, a number of US federal states and cities passed legislation or pledged action to uphold the commitments and goals of the Paris Agreement.

The states of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia joined the US Climate Alliance, a coalition committed to upholding the Paris Agreement.

Hawaii enacted laws aligning the state’s goals with the commitments of the Paris Agreement.

6 June 2017: Following President Trump’s announcement of US’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change made on 1 June 2017, a number of US federal states and cities passed legislation or pledged action to uphold the commitments and goals of the Paris Agreement.

The US states and cities committed to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase the share of renewables in the energy mix or to transition to 100% renewables. These actions contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals 13 (climate action), 7 (affordable and clean energy), in particular target 7.2 (By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix), and 11 (sustainable cities and communities), in particular target 11.6 (By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management).

On 5 June 2017, the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico joined the US Climate Alliance, a coalition committed to upholding the Paris Agreement.

Governors of the states of New York, California and Washington formed the US Climate Alliance in response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The coalition is committed to achieving the goal of reducing GHG emissions by 26-28% from 2005 levels by 2025, a goal enshrined in the US Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted under the Paris Agreement, and to meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan. [New York State Press Release] [Washington State Press Release] [US First NDC] [Decision 1/CP.21 Adopting Paris Agreement]

On 6 June 2017, Hawaii enacted laws aligning the state’s goals with the commitments of the Paris Agreement by, inter alia: expanding strategies and mechanisms to reduce GHG emissions statewide in alignment with the principles and goals adopted in the Paris Agreement; and establishing the Carbon Farming Task Force to identify agricultural and aquacultural practices to improve soil health and promote carbon sequestration. [Office of Governor of Hawaii Press Release]

The Government of California and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology agreed to work together on combating climate change and reducing GHG emissions.

On 2 June 2017, New York state announced a US$1.5 billion investment in renewable energy projects as part of the state’s pursuit of 50% renewable energy by 2030. [New York State Energy Vision] [Climate Action Press Release]

On 31 May 2017, California state Senate passed legislation pledging to source 100% of its power from renewable energy, including solar and wind, by 2045. [California State Senate President Press Release] [Climate Action Press Release]

The government of California and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology signed an agreement to work together on combating climate change and reducing GHG emissions. Additionally, the Regents of the University of California and Tsinghua Holdings, a subsidiary of Tsinghua University, announced a partnership to develop the California-China Clean Technology Funds. [Office of Governor of California Press Release] [Climate Action Press Release]

On 2 June 2017, the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, announced its plan to transition to 100% renewable energy, including wind and solar, by 2030. [City of Pittsburgh Executive Order of 2 June 2017] [City of Pittsburgh Press Release] [Climate Action Press Release]

Following a City Council vote on 6 June 2017, the city of Santa Barbara also committed to transition to 100% renewables by 2030. [Climate Action Press Release]

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