Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The SunShot Initiative

In 2007, the amount of solar power installed in the U.S. was 1.1 gigawatts (GW). As of 2017, that amount has increased to 47.1 GW. Enough to power 9.1 million average American homes. If you're thinking "we've still got a long way to go," you'd be right. On the other hand, increasing installed power by 4300% deserves some attention.  How'd we do it?

The Department of Energy played an important role. In 2011, they initiated a program called The SunShot Initiative. They set targets for the years 2020 and 2030, by which times generating solar power would have become more affordable. More affordable on a utility scale, more affordable on a commercial scale, and more affordable on a residential scale. Thus far, they've succeeded in hitting the 2020 goal for utility-scale generation. Needless to mention, they reached that goal three years early. The goals, it should be mentioned, don't take subsidies into account. It's the technology, in the case of util…

Book Review: Irrevocable Acts

July 30, 2017 - Before I begin, let me mention that Jonnie Hyde is a member of the writing group I belong to, here in Vancouver, Wa. I took a stab at writing a novel about climate change awhile back; it wasn't very good, and subsequently went nowhere. Irrevocable Acts, on the other hand, is deserving of attention.

The beginning of Hyde's book is, perhaps, its only weak point: it's a bit confusing. All becomes clear as the book unfolds, and the characters are interesting, so there's no question of remaining involved. The characters hold your focus because they live their lives differently from most, yet the Sanders are a family, with three generations living under one roof: Anna, Kate, and Gracie. That family begins to unravel when the matriarch, Anna, decides she must embark, finally, on the life she was meant to live.

Anna, Danny Shepard, and Mac Caffrey have been friends most of their lives. Products of Berkeley at a time when the name Berkeley was believed to mean o…