'America's Pledge' promises U.S. action on climate despite Trump

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Two outspoken supporters of the 2015 global climate agreement, California Governor Jerry Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, announced this week that they will launch a new initiative to help drive down greenhouse gas emissions across the U.S.

Donald Trump's trip to Paris might have made him reconsider his decision on the Paris Climate Accord.

"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", Michael Bloomberg, a United Nations special envoy for cities and climate change and coalition leader, said in a statement.

Launching the initiative, Bloomberg - the UN Secretary-General's special envoy for cities and climate change - said USA emissions were determined far more by cities, states and businesses than the federal government, adding that it was also in their best interests to take action.

America's Pledge will serve as an official measuring stick of these efforts, aggregating the commitments of "non-party actors" in a report, as well as developing plans for "increased climate ambitions" that can be adopted by states, cities, businesses, and others.

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According to a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres & Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa, less than 24 hours after Trump announced the United States' withdrawal from the climate agreement, Bloomberg met with French President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo at the Élysée Palace to reassure the world leaders that Americans are still committed to reaching the United States' climate goals. Through the America's Pledge initiative, Brown and Bloomberg will work to demonstrate continued climate leadership across USA society, and that subnational action can significantly reduce US greenhouse gas emissions at a time of limited federal leadership. At the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany last Saturday, the European Union expressed support for the Paris agreement and criticized the US for backing out - a move referred to as a "regrettable" by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

While launching a website and uniting a dozen-plus US territories are relatively small achievements, the rhetoric is likely to play big across Long Island, where funding for and commercialization of "clean energy" technologies have become socioeconomic lifelines - and environmentalists, economists and other observers lambasted Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

Brown, a Democrat, and Bloomberg, a Republican-turned Independent, have both played an outsized role on the world stage when it comes to fighting global warming. The Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute will jointly lead an inclusive analytical effort to measure emission reduction efforts by those aligned with America's Pledge.

"This is demonstrably not an issue that can be addressed by national governments alone", he said. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health.

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