DEEP: Governors Report 14 States and Puerto Rico are ‘On Track’ to Hit Paris Climate Targets

2017 Press Release
 
September 20, 2017
 
 
Governors Report 14 States and Puerto Rico are ‘On Track’ to Hit Paris Climate Targets, New Report

U.S. Climate Alliance & Former Secretary of State John Kerry Convene at Climate Week with Momentum for Further State Action
 
New York, NY -- Citing recent extreme weather event as further evidence of the urgent need for climate solutions, the U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA)--an effort among 14 states and Puerto Rico to reduce greenhouse gas emissions--released a report showing that member states are collectively on track to meet and possibly exceed their portion of the U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement. Representing the USCA, Governors Brown (CA) Cuomo (NY), and Inslee (WA), were joined by former Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss how governors can step up given the void of federal climate action. North Carolina is the newest member of the USCA, affirming the state’s commitment to climate action.
 
The bipartisan coalition, launched by Governors Cuomo, Brown, and Inslee as a response to President Trump’s announcement to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, has grown to encompass 36 percent of the U.S. population and more than $7 trillion of America’s GDP. Wednesday’s event marks the first public meeting of the Climate Alliance co-chairs, where they presented a joint accounting of their emissions reductions progress, as well as an independent forecast showing the 15 members are collectively on track to uphold their portion of the Paris Agreement targets.
 
The main findings of the report include:
  • Climate Alliance states are collectively on track to reach a 24 to 29 percent reduction below 2005 levels emission rates by 2025, helping to achieve the US Paris Agreement targets.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, Alliance states reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent (compared to a 10 percent reduction by the rest of the country).
  • During that same decade, the combined economic output of Alliance states grew by 14 percent (the rest of the country grew by 12 percent). On a per capita basis, economic output in Alliance states expanded twice as fast as in the rest of the country, showing that climate action and economic growth can go hand in hand.
USCA’s progress report comes two months before world leaders convene in Germany for COP 23, where countries will detail their plans to meet the Paris Agreement. Countries from around the world have reaffirmed their commitment to continue reducing emissions, despite Trump’s withdrawal from the Agreement. The USCA will be represented at COP 23 this fall to report on their climate progress and detail further plans additional solutions to pool resources and confront the global threat of climate change.
 
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“Governors Cuomo, Brown, and Inslee and other governors who are a part of the bipartisan U.S. Climate Alliance know the stakes in the climate fight. They are leading on climate where the federal government is failing to do so, joining partners in business and local government to ensure the U.S. is making progress every day. Today we are reaffirming to the American people and to the leaders from all over
the world that the United States will not abandon the global community and put its children and grandchildren at risk.” - Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

“The Alliance believes in the Paris Agreement and will help America get on a solid path to decarbonize our economy.” - California Governor Jerry Brown
 
“While the federal government abdicates its responsibility on climate change, governors do not have the luxury of denying a scientific reality, and it is more important than ever for states to take collective, common sense action. Today, New York State is picking up the mantle of leadership and raising the bar in the global fight against climate change. As a co-chair of the U.S. Climate Alliance, we are committed to upholding our share of the Paris Agreement, driving the clean energy economy, and ensuring a greener future for our children and for all Americans.” - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
 
“It has never been more important for states to step up to act on climate and the Climate Alliance states are stepping up in a big way. We are the ones who can, and will, lead the job-creating clean energy revolution and showcase all our nation is capable of to combat carbon pollution.” - Washington Governor Jay Inslee
 
“Climate change is real--and if we do not take real action now to slow its pace, future generations will pay the price. No matter what happens in Washington D.C., Connecticut is committed to aggressively addressing climate change by reducing carbon emissions and encouraging the use of renewable energy resources. We look forward to working with other like-minded states, businesses and other stakeholders to demonstrate that clean energy, economic growth, and job creation go hand-in-hand."  - Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy

“Coloradans, and indeed the country, expect us to help lead the way toward a clean and affordable energy future. We can harness the American entrepreneurial spirit to mitigate climate impacts while creating good-paying jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure, and cleaning our air.” - Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts remains committed to meeting our nation-leading emissions reduction goals, and we are pleased to work with states across the country on developing innovative climate change strategies, fueling the clean energy economy, and building resiliency in our cities and towns. In order to continue leading on greenhouse gas reductions and mitigating the negative impacts of climate change, Massachusetts recently announced a new focus on reducing emissions in the transportation sector, established a targeted emissions reduction goal for 2030, and launched a suite of new planning tools that will help prepare for climate change across the Commonwealth.” - Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

“President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Agreement will cause very serious damage to Minnesota's environment and economy. I am very pleased that Minnesota and other states are demonstrating to the world what we can achieve by working together to conserve energy, use cleaner and renewable energy, and leave a livable planet to our children and grandchildren.” - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton

“In the absence of leadership from Washington, North Carolina is proud to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, and we remain committed to reducing pollution and protecting our environment. Clean air and a healthy environment are vital for a strong economy and a healthier future. So much of North Carolina’s economy relies on protecting our treasured natural resources, and I’m committed to maintaining the quality of their air we breathe for generations to come.” - North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper

“We have an obligation to future generations to pass on a world where they can lead healthy and productive lives. Oregon has shown that we can grow our economy while reducing greenhouse gases with clean energy to address climate change. The policies that states are pursuing to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement are building sustainable economies that preserve our environment to reduce the burden on underserved populations that are most impacted by climate change. We must lift up those that have been left behind while moving forward towards a sustainable future.”- Oregon Governor Kate Brown

“Vermont, in collaboration with the states of the U.S. Climate Alliance, will continue to lead in addressing the impacts of climate change. Protecting the environment is important for our state and to Vermonters, and we are focused on mitigating the worst impacts of climate change, building more resilient communities and doing this in a way that spurs economic growth. It is clear we must act, and actions now will help ensure future generations can enjoy our environment as we know it.” - Vermont Governor Phil Scott

“Virginia is on the front lines in the fight against climate change. Our efforts to build a clean energy economy will help mitigate these impacts and provide a source of significant economic and job growth across the Commonwealth. I am proud to work with a coalition of governors who are similarly committed to state action that will create the jobs of the future and honor the U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement.” - Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

“I’m encouraged by our meetings with leaders here at Climate Week in New York City. Collaboration is a critical part of how we move forward as a state, a nation, and as global leaders in addressing climate issues affecting our island state and communities around the world. The U.S. Climate Alliance report shows the states that are setting clear targets for greenhouse gas reductions and increasing clean energy are mobilizing the market to innovate and create new, well-paying green jobs.” - Hawaii Governor David Ige
 
Report Methodology: Historical data and projections used in this report were provided by Rhodium Group (www.rhg.com), an independent research company. Rhodium Group considered a range of energy price, technology cost and carbon sequestration scenarios in this report. All scenarios account for key federal and state policies as of July 2017. The RHG U.S. GHG Inventory is consistent with international emissions inventory guidance set by United Framework Convention on Climate Change.
 

United States Climate Alliance was formed by Governors Andrew Cuomo, Jay Inslee, and Jerry Brown in response to the U.S. federal government’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change. The bipartisan coalition of states is committed to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

US Climate Alliance
California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Hawaii | Massachusetts | Minnesota | New York |
North Carolina | Oregon | Puerto Rico | Rhode Island | Vermont | Virginia | Washington