Paris Accord US Commitment Still Alive

California Gov. Jerry Brown left flanked by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon D Los Angeles urges members of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee to approve a pair of bills to extend state's cap and trade program Thursday

Announced this week by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown, the initiative - dubbed "America's Pledge" - brings together states, cities, regions and businesses which have previously reaffirmed their support for the Paris Agreement as part of the 'We Are Still In' declaration last month.

Brown, Cuomo's California counterpart, said the USCA was the polar opposite of those who "bury their heads in the sand" regarding climate change - similar to the thinking behind Global Climate Action 2018, a worldwide climate-change summit Brown's office is hosting next year in San Francisco.

"In the USA, 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 Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, in a statement. "We're already halfway there". The Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute will lead the analysis for the project, paid for by grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies. More organizations are expected to commit to this effort by the end of the year.

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"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", said Mr Bloomberg, a United Nations special envoy for cities and climate change. 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.

Finally, the America's Pledge will present a game plan for raising the bar and expanding the map when it comes to non-Party actors driving down US emissions.

Still, last month in an effort to fill a climate leadership void, Bloomberg, a United Nations envoy on cities and climate change, committed $200 million to support city initiatives including projects to combat global warming through a grant program called the American Cities Initiative.

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The Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute will devise a system to quantify all the Carbon dioxide commitments, before Bloomberg, Brown and other regional and business leaders present a showcase of USA climate commitments to the upcoming COP23 worldwide climate summit in Bonn, Germany, later this year. The governor has also had meetings with Germany's top environmental official, as well as with China's President Xi Jinping. 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.

As the Trump administration "abdicates its responsibility and ignores basic science", the USCA - which also accounts for some $7.16 trillion in gross domestic product, according to the alliance - will take up the slack, Cuomo said Thursday.

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