Can California defend us from Trump’s threat to the Paris Agreement?

By Dan Drollette Jr | December 2, 2016

A man who believes that climate change is a “hoax” wants to pull the United States entirely out of the Paris climate agreement — a disaster for the millions who will die climate change-related deaths from flooding, forced migration, starvation, drought, and extreme weather. Not to mention the risks these things bring to the world's security.

Worse, even if the president-elect is slowed in his effort to pull out of this carefully negotiated international agreement, he can still move rapidly on his anti-green agenda in other ways: decimating US federal agencies engaged in moving us to a greener society, canceling Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and slashing federal funding for renewable energy.

But there is a way to fight back, says this article in The Guardian, titled "Trump is a threat to the Paris agreement. Can states like California defend it?"

The individual states of our 50-state country can still go ahead with their own efforts to combat climate change. Such endeavors are no small potatoes; we should remind ourselves that California alone is the world's sixth biggest economy by gross domestic product (as well as the second-biggest state in the union for carbon emissions). California’s governor, Jerry Brown, has already reacted to Trump’s victory by saying that California will continue with its nation-leading climate plans, and he has dispatched a team to the UN climate talks in Marrakech. And as those who read the Bulletin regularly will remember, Brown was a speaker at last year's Clock symposium, who outlined his state's previous, vigorous legislation regarding climate change — such as seriously aiming for the “much more ambitious target” of carbon emissions that are 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

And though their economies are smaller than California's, states such as Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington are not far behind — or even ahead of California — when it comes to certain new ideas and initiatives regarding rooftop solar, batteries, energy efficiency, and R&D. (Just imagine what's cooking in the labs at MIT's Energy Initiative, for example.)

Publication Name: The Guardian
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