The nationwide plan, named America's Pledge, may be the beginning of concrete, organized action taken in response to President Trump's announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord, the landmark global agreement to fight climate change. Through the America's Pledge initiative, Brown and Bloomberg will work to demonstrate continued climate leadership across US society, and that subnational action can significantly reduce USA greenhouse gas emissions at a time of limited federal leadership.
"In the US, 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", said Michael Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.
"Together, we are showing the world it's possible to protect our planet while also creating good-paying jobs and growing our economies", the governor said.
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In 2015, during the lead-up to the Paris conference on climate change, the US submitted its "Nationally Determined Contribution", committing to reduce emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025 (based on 2005 levels).
This afternoon, at a joint press meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the French president expressed his surprise following mounting criticism over Donald Trump's participation in the Bastille Day parade on July 14, saying Washington remained Paris's "strategic ally", despite "strong disagreement" over climate change. The lack of leadership by Trump on climate has inspired cities across the U.S.to pass their own resolutions supporting the Paris Agreement, and now there's even more they can do to counter Trump's inaction. "We're already halfway there".
Outside experts with the World Resources Institute and the Rocky Mountain Institute, two USA -based non-profits, have been retained to conduct the study on current and projected emissions of "America's Pledge" affiliates.
While backed by congressional Republicans, the USA withdrawal has been met with criticism on the world stage.
The "America's Pledge" initiative includes an analytical effort lead by the Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute. Instead, the cities, states, and businesses - known in official United Nations parlance as "non-party stakeholders" - will join a registry known as the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA). "If the federal government insists on abdicating leadership on this issue, it will be up to the American people to step forward - and in Virginia we are doing just that". In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.