California Governor Brown, 11 U.S. Governors Call on President Trump to Keep America in Paris Climate Agreement


5-3-2017

SACRAMENTO – In a letter sent today to the White House, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and the governors of New York, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Virginia and Rhode Island called on President Donald J. Trump to keep the United States in the Paris Climate Agreement.

“Maintaining the U.S. commitment is essential to protect our residents, and indeed, all Americans from the potentially catastrophic impacts of a changing climate,” said Governor Brown and the 11 other governors in the letter sent today to the White House. “In each of our states, the path forward is clear. Our citizens demand the low-cost, clean-air benefits that a clean energy transition can provide.”

Governor Brown attended the United Nations’ 2015 Climate Conference (COP21) at the invitation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary and France's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development. Over the course of the conference, the Governor met with the UN Secretary-General, China's Special Envoy on Climate Change, France's Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, the U.S. Energy Secretary and former Vice President Al Gore, and participated in a number of events with other world leaders. Last April, the Governor traveled to the United Nations Headquarters in New York to participate in events marking the first day parties signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Moving to reinforce and expand the world's commitment to climate action, California and Baden-Württemberg, Germany in 2015 formed the Under2 Coalition – an international pact among cities, states and countries to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the level of potentially catastrophic consequences. The growing coalition now includes 170 jurisdictions on six continents that collectively represent more than 1.18 billion people and $27.5 trillion GDP – equivalent to 16 percent of the global population and 37 percent of the global economy.

The full text of the letter sent to the White House today can be found below:

May 3, 2017

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We write as Governors of 12 states that are home to 107 million Americans and comprise approximately 38 percent of the nation’s GDP, to urge you to keep the United States in the Paris Climate Agreement. Given the progress our states have made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we are convinced that the United States’ goal of 26-28 percent below 2005 levels is readily achievable. Maintaining the U.S. commitment is essential to protect our residents, and indeed, all Americans from the potentially catastrophic impacts of a changing climate.

We see our climate changing today through rising sea levels, increasing flooding, drought, and decreasing snow cover. These changes are causing forest fires and water shortages, adding to air pollution levels, and accelerating the spread of disease-carrying pests and causing illness and death from extreme weather patterns, amongst other impacts. Our states stand to bear the brunt of these climate change impacts and the economic costs running in the tens of billions of dollars or more.

We stand ready as state leaders to continue to support the achievement of the existing U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement—and if possible to go further, faster. The policies we are implementing that support the U.S.’s achievement of its Paris commitment not only cut carbon pollution—they also create jobs, boost competitiveness, and bring clean energy and a cleaner environment to our citizens. These benefits can and should accrue to all Americans.

Collective action to limit emissions world-wide is critical; without collaboration, climate change will cost the world’s nations several trillion dollars in damages. Under the Paris Agreement, all the world’s major economies are taking action on climate change for the first time, including China and India, which have put forward their own commitments to cut their carbon pollution domestically. If the U.S. does not maintain global climate leadership through national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean energy, China and India will. This would be a huge lost opportunity, putting us at a competitive disadvantage and potentially locking us into technologies and economic pathways that are increasingly obsolete while China and India reap the benefits of low-carbon leadership.

In each of our states, the path forward is clear. Our citizens demand the low-cost, clean-air benefits that a clean energy transition can provide. Our leading U.S. companies recognize the need to address business risks and opportunities through the Paris Agreement, and are wisely investing in low-carbon fuels and technologies to stay on the cutting edge of the global economy. Our track record—reducing carbon pollution while growing jobs and our economies—provides proof that we need not sacrifice opportunity for action. Indeed, we can secure that opportunity only by continuing to lead.

Sincerely,

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
State of California

Governor John Hickenlooper
State of Colorado

Governor Dannel P. Malloy
State of Connecticut

Governor John Carney
State of Delaware

Governor David Y. Ige
State of Hawaii

Governor Mark Dayton
State of Minnesota

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
State of New York

Governor Kate Brown
State of Oregon

Governor Tom Wolf
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Governor Gina Raimondo
State of Rhode Island

Governor Terence R. McAuliffe
Commonwealth of Virginia

Governor Jay Inslee
State of Washington

CC: The Honorable Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Majority Leader
The Honorable Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senate Minority Leader
The Honorable Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, House of Representatives

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