Fayetteville Mayor Commits to Paris Climate Agreement

Ivan Schwartz
June 3, 2017

While $3 billion may sound like a lot of money to most people, for the United States government, which took in some $16.5 trillion in GDP a year ago, it's a pretty paltry sum.

Following the United States withdrawal, Europe has drawn closer together.

In addition to the United States, only two other countries - Syria and Nicaragua - are not part of the Paris agreement. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Jared Huffman of California, and Suzan DelBene of Washington, along with 18 other West Coast members of Congress, sent a letter Wednesday urging governors in their states to form a "green wall" to maintain climate leadership in the country.

The U.S. Climate Alliance was formed by the governors of California, Washington, and NY just hours after Trump announced on Thursday that he will pull the United States out of the global climate accord.

"If this coalition broadens and deepens at the pace that it appears to be, I think the Trump effect could be more than mitigated", added Orr, now dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. "Trump's decision signals business as usual".

The reverberations of the U.S. president's announcement on Thursday were felt across the world yesterday, with German chancellor Angela Merkel leading the charge.

Trump has effectively already given away the game.

That, of course, made Trump sound hopelessly insane, and he avoided repeating the line during his presidential campaign.

The world is now moving in a different direction than the USA on the environment, and if USA companies don't move with their global competitors they will be left behind with primitive technologies and primitive manufacturing processes that won't match up in the years ahead, says William Rees, an ecological economist at the University of British Columbia. "If we don't take the step than we aren't prepared to take the next step".

The architects of the Paris Agreement included Christiana Figueres, who until recently led the UNFCCC. The 2015 Paris agreement had got more than 190 countries to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and restricting the rise in global average temperature to below 2 degree celsius above pre-industrial levels. They didn't have a corner on the market in terms of studies at the time.

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Brown, who has made climate change a centerpiece of his governorship, signed a law a year ago requiring that 50 percent of the electricity generated in California by 2030 come from solar, wind and other renewable sources such as biomass and geothermal. Despite the decision by the United States, the second biggest polluter after China, to pull out of the deal, many analysts suggest the shift to a low-carbon economy is now unstoppable, with renewable prices tumbling and new clean technology being developed and deployed. Deals are my art form, he once tweeted.

The US, however, will not immediately pull out of the Paris Act.

McKenna said Canada will co-host with China and the European Union a ministerial summit here in September to advance action on the Paris agreement.

"Thank you, everybody", Trump said. Now, as climate change hits poor countries hard, they will only blame America. "Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world".

"I wish he hadn't [pulled out] just because it makes us seem as though we're not in with the rest of the world in combating climate change".

Trump may have been referencing an earlier version of the study, which didn't take all signing countries into account. The President is choosing to put American jobs and businesses first, Pence said.

This sort of thinking could trickle down to the individual level of mayors and companies both in the USA and around the world, says Timmons Roberts, a professor of environmental studies at Brown University in Rhode Island. Donald Tusk spoke after meeting with visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Brussels.

China has been investing billions in clean energy infrastructure, as it battles to clear up the choking pollution enveloping its biggest cities.

Trump also cited the possibility of an elimination of manufacturing jobs and economic production in industries like natural gas, paper, iron and steel along the way to reaching to the commitment from the USA - which was to cut its emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025.

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