US governors, mayors, businesses, commit to Paris climate pact goals

US governors, mayors, businesses, commit to Paris climate pact goals
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More than 1,000 governors, mayors, businesses and others are committing to uphold the goals of the Paris climate change agreement.

The effort is being led in part by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a special United Nations envoy for cities and climate change.

Calling the effort “America’s Pledge,” Bloomberg told U.N. officials in a letter on Monday that he’s working on a process to submit a contribution from the signatories to serve as a “parallel submission” to the Paris agreement, now that President Trump has committed to pulling the United States out of the pact.

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“The bulk of the decisions which drive U.S. climate action in the aggregate are made by cities, states, businesses, and civil society. The federal role, ideally, is to coordinate and support those efforts,” Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul, wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Patricia Espinosa, head of the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“In the absence of a supportive federal coordinating role, these actors will more closely coordinate their own decarbonization actions,” he wrote. "Collectively, they will redouble their efforts to ensure that the U.S. achieves the carbon emissions reductions it pledged under the Paris Agreement.”

A separate open letter to the United Nations includes representatives of 125 cities, nine states, 183 colleges and universities and 902 businesses and investors, including more than a dozen Fortune 500 companies.

“In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years,” the signatories wrote.

“In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.”

The Paris agreement, which consists of individual greenhouse gas limits from nearly 200 nations, is not designed for participation from parties other than national governments.

Under former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGeorge W. Bush honors father at benefit for hurricane victims Dem senator: ‘I miss every one of’ our last 5 presidents All five living former presidents appear at hurricane relief benefit concert MORE, the United States had pledged a 26 percent to 28 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2025.

The signatories to Monday’s letter did not specify their exact contribution, or how they would meet it.