California Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg have launched America’s Pledge on climate change, a new initiative that they hope will gather together and quantify all the action being taken by states, cities, and business across the United States to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Launched on July 12, America’s Pledge is yet another direct response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull his country out of the Paris Climate Agreement — a move which he described as part and parcel of his “solemn duty to protect America and its citizens,” but which was widely and globally criticized by all and sundry for its ignorance, protectionism, and isolationism.
Almost immediately, mayors and governors from across the country — including the suddenly-much-publicized Pittsburgh Mayor, William Peduto — made it clear that if the United States government would not commit to the Paris Climate Change agreement, they would. Within only a few days, the number of Climate Mayors soared from 61 to 211, which was followed a few days later by the first of many initiatives, We Are Still In, which gathered together more than 1,000 mayors, governors, state attorneys general, CEOs, and other prominent US persons, all committed to the Paris Agreement.
We Are Still In was created in part by Mike Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, who has now joined with California Governor Jerry Brown to form America’s Pledge. Brown, for his part, found himself in China on a pre-arranged trip that had him make several high-profile agreements with state and national governments across the country to deepen ties to encourage cooperation on the development of green technology. Governor Brown also returned home to a similar meeting with Germany’s Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Barbara Hendricks, to further deepen ties between Germany and California to extend their leadership on climate change.
It’s unsurprising, therefore, that Bloomberg and Brown are the two to yet again strike out at Donald Trump’s ignorant posturing and policy-making with the creation of America’s Pledge, an initiative which intends to bring together the private and public sector in an effort to ensure that the United States “remains a global leader in reducing emissions and delivers the country’s ambitious climate goals of the Paris Agreement.” Specifically, America’s Pledge will work to aggregate all the work and commitments being done by groups like We Are Still In, the Climate Mayors, the US Climate Alliance, and other “non-Party actors” in a report detailing the full range of climate-related activities across US society. The new initiative also hopes to provide a roadmap for increasing ambition for US states, cities, business, and others.
“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. “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.”
“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,” added Governor Jerry Brown, who was recently named Special Advisor for States and Regions ahead of the United Nations’ 23rd Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23).