Realizing the full potential of the Paris Agreement will take action at all levels. And while federal policies can get mired in political gridlock, cities and states often have the flexibility to take quick action.
For example, California—the world’s eighth-largest economy—has a cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions. More than half of U.S. states have instituted renewable electricity standards that are making wind and solar prices competitive with fossil fuels. Twenty-two states require their utilities to offer programs to customers that will reduce the total demand for electricity each year.
And at the Paris climate talks, more than 300 mayors pledged to take bold climate action—and publicly report on their progress. Together, these cities are on track to deliver half the world's emissions reductions by 2020.
These kinds of innovations can be shared across state and national lines, driving global progress toward meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The signing of the Paris Agreement is a clear signal that we've turned the corner toward a safer, healthier and more prosperous low-carbon future. But much work remains to be done. Now is the time to act—as individuals, in our communities, as business leaders and as policymakers—to turn our Paris pledges into action.