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June 12, 2017

Green Supply Chain News: States, Cities Ready to Push Climate Plans after US Withdrawal from Paris Agreement


Emissions Levels Far More Determined at State and Local Level than Nationally, Michael Bloomberg Says, as California Signs Climate Deal with China

By The Green Supply Chain Editorial Staff

After President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the UN Paris Climate accord, state and local government officials have jumped in with their own promises to find ways to reduce CO emissions.

Most notable of many was California Governor Jerry Brown's announced deal between his state and China that calls for cooperation on the advancement of low-carbon, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies such as zero-emission vehicles.

The Green Supply Chain Says:
USermission levels are determined far more by cities, states, and businesses than they are by our federal government," Michael Bloomberg said.

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"Under the agreement, California and China will also deepen their partnership and coordination on greenhouse gas emission and air pollution reduction programs, including emissions trading systems and carbon capture," a press release from the governor's office said.

Details, it appears, will follow.

Brown is also recommending that states pursue their own climate standards, such as developing his own international climate agenda, recruiting other states for climate pacts, and pushing tougher standards than the federal government had under the Obama administration.

Shortly after Brown's announcement, Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Jay Inslee of Washington said they would form a coalition of states committed to upholding US commitments former President Obama made in Paris.

The two governors are calling the coalition the "United States Climate Alliance," which they said will "act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy."

It turns out that 20 states have in the past adopted their own greenhouse gas emission targets, with some setting goals beyond the US commitment under the Paris accord.

And states and cities can have a huge impact, former New York City mayor and current United Nations Secretary-General's special envoy for cities and climate change Michael Bloomberg says.

"In the US, emission levels are determined far more by cities, states, and businesses than they are by our federal government," Bloomberg said.

"Obviously states can't do what the federal government can do," Brown said. "But I will tell you the president's action - his action in undermining the Paris agreement - is going to ignite a prairie fire of activism to take even bolder steps to reduce greenhouse gases than even are being imagined today."

For example, given the enormous size of its market, and the fact that itreceived a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency allowing it to set its own tailpipe-emission standards that nine other states follow, California-emission policies can set the standard for the auto industry nationwide. So as California sets its own requirements, it can in effect do so for the nation as a whole regardless of what is done in Washington DC.

California has the most ambitious greenhouse-gas emission reduction targets in the US, with the goal of achieving a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, in part by adding 4.2 million zero-emissions vehicles on this car-centric state's streets and highways. By 2050, the state's goal is to bring emissions 80% below 1990 levels. Both goals go far beyond US targets set in the UN climate accord.

California also has a pact with Oregon, Washington state and the Canadian province of British Columbia, formally aligning their climate and clean-energy policies.

There is also action at the city level. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he would "work with cities around the country to reduce our emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement," after the Trump pullout.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city introduced a motion to adopt the principles of the Paris agreement "as the policy of the City of Los Angeles." Garcetti is part of a coalition of 61 mayors that has vowed to uphold the agreement.

TheGreenSupply thinks all this is a good thing regardless of your perspective on the Paris climate deal, as it will create dozens or hundreds of test labs where ideas, technologies and rules can play out to see what works and at what cost.

What do you think of these state and local efforts on climate change? Do you agree havng dozens of "labs" out there to guage results is a good thing? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.

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