‘United States Climate Alliance’ Formed To Uphold Paris Climate Agreement
TRENTON – Reacting to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Senator Bob Smith, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, and Senator Linda Greenstein, the panel’s vice-chair, said today they want New Jersey to join with California, New York, Washington and other states in the newly-formed alliance of states committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Now that President Trump has 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. Senator Smith and Senator Greenstein will introduce legislation that would have New Jersey join the alliance and uphold the Paris agreement.
“President Trump’s decision to abandon the climate protection agreement is reckless and irresponsible,” said Senator Smith. “He is choosing to follow a misguided political ideology and ignore the reality of climate change and its destructive consequences on the environment, public health and the economy. As a densely-populated, coastal state, New Jersey is especially vulnerable to the disastrous effects of the ongoing changes to the environment. We should join with the other states that are acting responsibly on behalf of their residents and future generations.”
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. Governor Brown has called on other states to join the coalition.
“The states have to step forward and provide the leadership needed to prevent the otherwise inevitable consequences of increased air pollution, flooding, droughts and environmental degradation,” said Senator Greenstein. “We also want to capture the economic benefits of the Paris agreement, including new jobs in green-sector energy production. We don’t want to lose out to other countries that are pursuing new technologies and creating jobs in rapidly-evolving sectors of the economy. Any delay in reacting to climate change will be costly in economic and human terms.”
The U.S. Climate Alliance will also act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy. Governor Brown has called on other states to join.
Senator Smith said that he is disappointed in Governor Christie’s “apparent unwillingness to challenge President Trump’s historically-bad decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement,” but New Jersey should move forward anyway.
“We want to send a message that New Jersey will not allow failed leadership to stop us from acting responsibly and we want to be positioned for the change in administrations at the end of the year,” said Senator Smith. “We challenged the governor on RGGI and we will do it again on climate change.”
Also, American cities, states and companies are preparing to submit a plan to the United Nations pledging to meet the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Paris climate accord – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/climate/american-cities-climate-standards.html