New York governor Andrew Cuomo, California governor Edmund Brown Jr., and Washington state governor Jay Inslee said they’re forming a coalition of states committed to fighting climate change. The move basically formally shifts the responsibility of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the federal government to the local level.
“I am proud to stand with other governors as we make sure that the inaction in D.C. is met by an equal force of action from the states," Inslee said in a statement. "Today’s announcement by the president leaves the full responsibility of climate action on states and cities throughout our nation. While the president’s actions are a shameful rebuke to the work needed to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren, states have been and will continue to step up.”
“states have been and will continue to step up.”
Throughout the US, cities and states have already been at the forefront in the fight against climate change. Last year, California extended an ambitious law aimed at slashing emissions 40 percent below the 1990 levels by 2030. New York pledged to the same goals, according to Newsweek; it is also one of nine Northeastern states that’s part of a joint cap-and-trade program.
New York, California, and Washington represent 68 million Americans and over one-fifth of US GDP, accounting for at least 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, the press release said. The coalition, called the United States Climate Alliance, will convene states that want to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. Under the deal, former President Barack Obama had pledged to reduce US emissions by 26–28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025.
These states have been taking charge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for years now. With the White House unwilling to take climate change seriously, they will have to continue to lead the way.