Members of the bipartisan United States Climate Alliance today issued the following statement opposing the Administration’s formal submission today of its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“The Administration’s formal submission today of its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change, which enters into force in one year, is the wrong policy. This follows from the Administration’s June 1, 2017 announcement of its intent to withdraw from the Agreement. In response to that action, U.S. governors from California, New York and Washington State launched the United States Climate Alliance to affirm their commitment to uphold the goals of the Agreement. We are now a bipartisan coalition of 25 governors and must stand up — once again — to reaffirm our commitment to supporting climate action and to strongly oppose the Administration’s decision to formally withdraw from the Paris Agreement. We believe all leaders have a critical responsibility to address the global climate crisis.
The Paris Agreement is the framework for global cooperation to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. Of the roughly 187 countries that have joined the Agreement, the United States is alone in initiating a formal withdrawal. Under the Agreement, each nation develops its own emission reduction target and all nations are held accountable to those targets. The Agreement also challenges countries to increase their ambition over time, bringing us ever closer to the goal of limiting temperature increases to 2°C, and with efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. The United States led the world in forging this strong, historic Agreement, and the United States should support the Agreement, not abandon it.
The U.S. Climate Alliance can have a global impact. Our growing coalition represents more than half of the U.S. population and an $11.7 trillion economy, collectively equating to what would be the third largest national economy in the world after those of the United States and China. We are also the sixth largest global emitter of greenhouse gases. But in order to reduce emissions at the pace and scale science tells us is required, we need the federal government to join us in taking action. We do not stand alone — 77 percent of U.S. voters support the Paris Agreement .
The members of the U.S. Climate Alliance remain committed to addressing climate change. Since launching the Climate Alliance, our states have adopted or strengthened 29 greenhouse gas reduction targets and ramped up zero-carbon power generation, with 19 states now enacting or pursuing goals for 100 percent carbon-free or clean power by 2030 or later. We are reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and saving residents money by transitioning to low- and zero-emissions vehicles, transportation systems, buildings, and appliances. We also are growing a clean energy economy and creating high quality jobs, enhancing our natural and working lands, and strengthening community resilience. Moreover, we have demonstrated that economic growth and climate action go hand-in-hand. Alliance states have reduced emissions faster than the rest of the country while growing per capita GDP three times as fast. Climate action is a driver of — not a deterrent to — innovation and economic strength.”
 Yale University Program on Climate Communications. Politics and Global Warming. March 2018. https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/politics-global-warming-march-2018/2/ (Text of the Survey Result: “77% of registered voters support continued U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement, including almost all Democrats (92%), three in four Independents (75%), and a majority of Republicans (60%).”)
Launched on June 1, 2017 by the governors of Washington, New York, and California to help fill the void left by the previous administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the Alliance has grown to include governors from across the U.S. Governors in the Alliance have pledged to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, at least 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, and collectively achieve overall net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as practicable, and no later than 2050.
Alliance states and territories are achieving lower levels of air pollution, delivering more energy savings to homes and businesses, preparing more effectively for climate impacts, generating more electricity from zero-carbon sources, and collectively employing over 40% more workers in the clean energy sector than the rest of the country. For more information on Alliance members’ bipartisan, cross-sector climate action, see our Fact Sheet.