AG Healey, 18 Attorneys General Join “We Are Still In” Coalition of Governors, Mayors, Business and University Leaders to Maintain Commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement
Coalition Releases Open Letter to International Community Pledging Support for Climate Action
BOSTON – Following President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Attorney General Maura Healey and 18 other Attorneys General have joined forces with governors, mayors, business leaders and universities across the country pledging to maintain their commitment to fighting climate change and abiding by the principles of the global agreement.
“The state attorneys general are on the front lines fighting to protect our residents, the global community, and future generations from the dangers of climate change. We have long led efforts to promote clean energy and clean energy jobs in our states, advance smart policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and defend the progress we’ve made to address this threat,” said AG Healey. “On behalf of our communities, our businesses, and our residents, the state attorneys general are proud to join this national alliance in support of achieving American commitments to the Paris Agreement.”
The 19 state attorneys general joining the coalition today include:
Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General
George Jepsen, Connecticut Attorney General
Matt Denn, Delaware Attorney General
Karl A. Racine, District of Columbia Attorney General
Doug S. Chin, Hawaii Attorney General
Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General
Tom Miller, Iowa Attorney General
Janet E. Mills, Maine Attorney General
Brian E. Frosh, Maryland Attorney General,
Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General,
Lori Swanson, Minnesota Attorney General,
Hector Balderas, New Mexico Attorney General,
Eric T. Schneiderman, New York Attorney General,
Josh Stein, North Carolina Attorney General,
Ellen F. Rosenblum, Oregon Attorney General,
Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General,
Peter F. Kilmartin, Rhode Island Attorney General,
Thomas J. Donovan Jr., Vermont Attorney General,
Mark R. Herring, Virginia Attorney General
President Trump announced on June 1 that the United States would break ranks with more than 190 countries and leave the historic global commitment that entered into force in November 2016. The signatories to the “We Are Still In” coalition, today released the following statement:
“We, the undersigned mayors, governors, attorneys general, college and university leaders and businesses are joining forces for the first time to declare, that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.
In December 2015 in Paris, world leaders signed the first global commitment to fight climate change. The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them. In addition, nations – inspired by the actions of local and regional governments, along with businesses – came to recognize that fighting climate change brings significant economic and public health benefits.
The Trump administration’s announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change. Importantly, it is also out of step with what is happening in the United States.
In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.
In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.
It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2°C and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.”
The Paris Climate Agreement requires participating countries to limit global warming to well below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit from preindustrial levels and encourages them to pursue efforts to keep temperature increases to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
The “We Are Still In” coalition pledges to ensure that despite the country’s exit from the agreement the United States will continue to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.