New York: Democratic state governors from California, New York and Washington formed an immediate alliance Thursday committed to countering climate change, defying Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States was leaving the 2015 Paris accord.
The three states represent more than one-fifth of US gross domestic product, are home to 68 million people, or nearly one in five Americans, and account for at least 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, the governors said.
California’s Jerry Brown, New York’s Andrew Cuomo and Washington state’s Jay Inslee — all Democrats — urged other states to join their United States Climate Alliance, saying that they were committed to taking aggressive action against climate change.
They remain committed to achieving the US goal of reducing emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels, and meeting or exceeding the targets of a federal Clean Power Plan, they said.
Cuomo said the “reckless” decision, announced by the Republican commander-in-chief on Thursday, would have “devastating repercussions” for the planet, and accused the US administration of abdicating its global leadership.
“New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions,” he said.
“If the president is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states will step up,” said Brown.
“While the president’s actions are a shameful rebuke to the work needed to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren, states have been and will continue to step up,” added Inslee.
The governors said the alliance would work 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.
Trump announced from the White House that the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Paris agreement and try to negotiate a new global deal on climate change, provoking swift condemnation of European leaders.