California governor, former NYC mayor launch "America's Pledge" on climate change

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-13 05:57:13|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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SAN FRANCISCO, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Governor of U.S. state of California Jerry Brown and former Mayor of New York city Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday jointly launched a new initiative, known as "America's Pledge," to continue the cause set by the Paris Agreement on climate change.

"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," said Brown, who announced last week that the Golden State on the U.S. West Coast would convene in San Francisco the world's climate leaders for the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit.

The top official in California 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, or COP23.

"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," noted Bloomberg, the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

"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."

Reached in late 2015 and signed so far by more than 190 U.N. members around the world, the Paris Agreement calls on all nations to respond to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees.

However, U.S. President Donald Trump announced in early June his decision to withdraw from the agreement.

Since then, a number of U.S. states, cities, businesses, and colleges and universities have reaffirmed their support for the Paris Agreement through collaborations including the "We Are Still In" declaration, the Climate Mayors coalition of cities and the U.S. Climate Alliance group of states.

Through America's Pledge, Brown and Bloomberg said they would work to demonstrate that subnational action can significantly reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a time of limited federal leadership. The two have commissioned the Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute to lead an analytical effort supporting the initiative, and have planned to compile and showcase existing climate commitments of U.S. subnational and non-state actors at COP23 scheduled for November in Bonn, Germany.

The initiative will also work to quantify the aggregate impact of these commitments on projected future emissions, comparing against both a business-as-usual (BAU) trajectory of projected greenhouse gas emissions under likely policies of the current U.S. federal government, and the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution submitted by the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015, during the lead-up to the Paris Agreement, which called for 26-28 percent U.S. reductions against a 2005 baseline by 2025.