‘United States Climate Alliance’ Formed To Uphold Paris Climate Agreement
TRENTON – Legislation authored 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 was approved by the Assembly today with a vote of 44-19-3. It now goes to the governor’s desk.
The bill, S-3317, 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.
“The failure to act responsibly and participate in the Paris accord will have severe and lasting consequences for the environment, public health and the economy,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “The United States made the right decision in joining with 200 other countries in making the shared commitment embodied in the Paris Accord. President Trump’s decision is irresponsible and short sighted.”
“We in New Jersey have the opportunity to live up to goals of the Paris Climate Accord and to meet our responsibilities to prevent the dire consequences inaction would bring,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer), the vice chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “Other states are acting by creating an alliance; we should join them. By joining the US Climate Alliance, New Jersey would work alongside other states toward 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 prevent 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. We challenge the governor to do the right thing and sign this legislation.”
The Senate approved the bill in June by a vote of 25-14.