‘United States Climate Alliance’ Formed To Uphold Paris Climate Agreement
TRENTON –Today, the Senate Environment and Energy Committee approved legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Smith, Senator Linda Greenstein and Senator Patrick Diegnan Jr. that would have New Jersey uphold the tenets of the Paris Climate Accord by joining with other states in a newly-formed alliance of states committed to the environmental goals of the international agreement.
The bill, S-598, would have New Jersey join with California, New York, Washington and a dozen other states in the “United States Climate Alliance,” formed in the wake of President Trump’s decision to have the United States withdraw from the Paris agreement.
“At a time when we are seeing the dangerous effects and irreversible events related to climate change, leaving the Paris Accord is harmful and irresponsible,” said Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “President Trump’s failure to act responsibly in the effort to protect our environment will only bring serious and irreparable consequences for the environment, the health of our residents and our state’s economy. Joining this coalition is right for our children and our communities.”
“President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Accord is negligent and short-sighted,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer). “Here in New Jersey we have the opportunity to live up to goals of the accord and to meet our responsibilities to prevent the dire consequences inaction would bring. Other states are acting by creating an alliance; we should join them. By doing so, New Jersey would work alongside other states towards achieving the goals of the Paris Accord.”
After President Trump abandoned the responsibilities embodied in the international agreement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced the formation of a state-based alliance to fill the void on climate protection standards. Together, New York, California, and Washington represent approximately 68 million people, nearly one-in-five Americans. New Jersey is home to more than eight million people. A total of 15 states have now joined.
“The President’s disastrous decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord should in no way prevents New Jersey from moving forward with sound environmental policies aimed at protecting our planet,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “With this legislation, we are sending a message that we are committed to doing all we can for future generations and for our state.”
In the 2016-17 legislative sessions, a similar bill was passed by the Senate on June 26, 2017, with a vote of 25-14 and by the Assembly with a vote of 46-19-3 on January 8, 2017. Governor Chris Christie pocket vetoed the bill on January 16, 2018.
The bill was approved by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee with a vote of 4-1. The bill next goes to the full Senate for further consideration.