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We Are Still In

June 13, 2017 - Trump's announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Accord on Climate Change has produced a remarkable backlash: hundreds of cities, states, universities and colleges, and businesses in the United States have declared their collective intention to reach the country's 2025 emissions goals, with or without federal leadership. America stepped up to the plate when Trump stated that he was "elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," to which Pittsburgh's mayor responded "we [Pittsburgh] will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy and future."

Bill Peduto, mayor of Pittsburgh, is a member of Mayors for 100% Clean Energy, the creation of Sierra Club, to which Michael Bloomberg is a major contributor. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and a billionaire philanthropist, is also the United Nations Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.
In a letter written by Bloomberg to the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, he points out that cities and states are in a position to negotiate contracts with local utilities for larger amounts of renewable energy, build rapid transit programs, and improve wastewater treatment.

Regardless of the American government's stance toward climate change, multinational companies will still need to follow the laws of countries to whom they sell, laws which are becoming more environmentally stringent. American cars will have to meet standards in Europe, Japan, China, and California. The reaction of overseas consumers toward America's pullout could well be economically detrimental.

Jackie Biskupski, mayor of Salt Lake City, has brokered an agreement with the local utility to provide 100 percent renewable energy by 2032. She maintains that climate change is having a significant impact on water availability and quality in Salt Lake City, and the rest of Utah. Her administration views this agreement as prudent planning for the future.

Bloomberg has been instrumental in pulling together the various entities pledging to meet the United States' Paris Accord goals, declaring their intention in a document called "We Are Still In"
(www.wearestillin.com). Their aggregate actions will constitute America's Pledge, a report to be submitted to the UN. America's Pledge consists of reducing carbon emissions in the United States by 26 percent by 2025.

Here is a sample of entities who are signatories of the Pledge.

Cities including Milwaukee, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Nashville, Boston, Los Angeles, Houston, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Durham.

States including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.

Universities and colleges including Barnard, State University of New York, University of South Carolina, Roosevelt University, Grinnell College, Northwestern, Tufts University, Simmons College, and Michigan State University.

Businesses including Airbnb, Catholic Health Initiative, Volvo Group NA, eBay, Netflix, Brighton Resort, Deschutes Brewery, Foursquare, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Twitter, and 23andMe.

A complete listing can be found at www.wearestillin.com.



With thanks to Business Insider, the New York Times, and wearestillin.com.

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