COP 23 Special Advisor for States and Regions California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Michael R. Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, released the America’s Pledge report today at the U.S. Climate Action Pavilion, a purpose-built exhibition space sponsored by U.S. non-federal leaders at a United Nations climate change conference in Bonn, Germany.
The report is the first communication to the international community specifically addressing the scope and scale of non-federal climate action in the United States following the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. It captures and quantifies the outpouring of public support for the agreement since the withdrawal announcement, finding that cities, states and businesses representing more than half the U.S. economy and population have declared their support for the Paris Agreement, including more than 2,300 signatories to the “We Are Still In” declaration.
If these non-federal actors were a country, their economy would be the third largest in the world, bigger than all but two national parties to the Paris Agreement. In addition, the report finds that a total of 20 U.S. states, 110 U.S. cities, and over 1,400 businesses with U.S. operations representing USD $25 trillion in market capitalization and nearly 1.0 gigatons of GHG emissions per year have adopted quantified emissions reduction targets. The most ambitious of these targets, such as those adopted by California, mirror the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of national governments.
“The group of American cities, states, and businesses who remain committed to the Paris Agreement represents a bigger economy than any nation outside the U.S. and China,” said Bloomberg. “Together they are helping deliver on the promise of the agreement and ensuring the U.S. remains a global leader in the fight against climate change. In Paris, the U.S. pledged to measure and report our progress reducing emissions alongside every other nation. Through America’s Pledge, we’re doing just that, and we’re going to continue to uphold our end of the deal, with or without Washington.”
The report was released at an event featuring UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, COP23 President Honorable Prime Minister Bainimarama of Fiji, Bloomberg and Brown, as well as Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Wal-Mart Senior Vice President of Sustainability Laura Philips and California’s Secretary of Environmental Protection Matt Rodriquez who are among the thousands of U.S. private and public-sector leaders taking action to cut greenhouse gas emissions. These non-federal leaders are traveling this week as part of a large group of U.S. actors committed to climate action despite recent White House statements about the Paris Agreement.
“California strongly supports the United Nations’ unstoppable move to decarbonize the world economy,” said California Governor and COP 23 Special Advisor for States and Regions Edmund G. Brown Jr. “We join with states and cities across America—and around the world—that will continue aggressive and creative action to curb greenhouse gas emissions.”
“If the challenge of climate change is to be solved and the opportunities of a low carbon transition harvested we need all sectors of society in all nations fully on board,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate change. “Cities, states, regions and territories have, along with business and civil society, been an inspiration before, during, at and following Paris. Here I want to pay tribute to Jerry Brown, California’s Governor, UN Special Envoy Michael Bloomberg and all the states and cities of the USA who have been aligning their pledges and actions with the Paris Climate Change Agreement. You are part of an unstoppable movement that is stretching North and South, East and West. With greater speed, ever higher ambition and by joining hands with all actors world-wide, we can together reach our shared goals.”
“To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, we are helping to build a Grand Coalition to accelerate climate action across all nations and at every level of society,” said Honorable Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji, President of COP23. “So I am delighted to welcome the commitments that have been made through America’s Pledge from members of that coalition in the US among the non-state actors such as governors and mayors. This imaginative initiative by Governor Brown and Michael Bloomberg shows that the campaign for climate action in America remains strong. I also hope that it is a model that can be followed elsewhere in the world as we bring everyone together to pursue a more ambitious response to the challenge of climate change”
The America’s Pledge report examines current and potential future opportunities for non-federal actors in the U.S. to deepen and strengthen their role in meeting the U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. As part of the America’s Pledge initiative, a range of non-federal leaders are stepping up to coordinate more closely with each other and international partners to help meet America’s Pledge.
Michael R. Bloomberg is the co-author of New York Times bestseller Climate of Hope with Carl Pope which lays out a roadmap for climate action. Earlier this year Bloomberg Philanthropies produced From the Ashes with RadicalMedia, a documentary about the legacy of the coal industry, which was nominated for an Environmental Film Festival award. In conjunction with the film, Bloomberg announced an initiative for organizations supporting economic development work in coal communities affected by job losses and industry decline. The foundation also launched a CrowdRise fundraising campaign for Americans who wish to support the transition as well. Donations to the campaign can be made on the film’s website, www.fromtheashesfilm.com.
Governor Brown was named Special Advisor for States and Regions in June by Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama – president of COP23. The Governor continues to build strong coalitions of partners committed to curbing carbon pollution in both the United States through the U.S. Climate Alliance and around the globe with the Under2 Coalition, which has grown to include 188 jurisdictions collectively representing more than 1.2 billion people and $28.9 trillion GDP – equivalent to over 16 percent of the global population and 39 percent of the global economy. The Governor joined United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg to launch America’s Pledge on climate change to help compile and quantify the actions of states, cities and businesses to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. In September 2018, the State of California will convene the world’s climate leaders in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, where representatives from subnational governments, businesses, investors and civil society will gather with the direct goal of supporting the Paris Agreement.
Learn more and download the report at AmericasPledge.com