5. Support for the Paris Agreement remains strong.
As the Trump Administration steps down from U.S. leadership on climate change, the rest of the world is stepping up.
Take the Under2 Coalition,
a group of 176 nations, states, provinces and cities that have pledged
to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% below 1990
levels or less than 2 metric tons per capita by 2050. The coalition was
formed even before the Paris Agreement was signed. By demonstrating
what’s possible, these subnational governments can work with their
national counterparts to go above and beyond their Paris targets.
the United States, 13 states representing more than 30% of the U.S.
population—including two with Republican governors—have formed the U.S.
Climate Alliance, pledging to uphold the country’s Paris commitments in
And the business sector is stepping up, too.
Following President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate
agreement, nearly 1,000 of U.S. corporations joined hundreds of city and
state governments in declaring, “We are still in.” The coalition, which
includes companies ranging from Apple, Google and Amazon to Unilever
and Target, has pledged to help the United States make good on its promise for
Reasons for Caution
1. U.S. leadership—or lack of it—matters.
as others pledge their continued support, the jury is still out on the
long-term impacts of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris agreement. The
agreement is not intended to be a snapshot in time; it’s meant to be an
evolving story with nations coming back to the table to make ever more
ambitious pledges. U.S. leadership was critical to the Paris
negotiations—the country’s absence could be a big challenge.
in the United States, there’s a lot more to be concerned about beyond Paris. The
Trump Administration is working to unravel everything “climate,” right
down to regulations on methane emissions from landfills.
2. Climate science is under attack.
of my biggest concerns is the devastating cuts the U.S. Administration
has proposed to vital scientific programs at NASA, NOAA, NSF, EPA, USDA
Climate science is essential for understanding the
natural systems of our planet. Cutting this research will not only
impact our ability to develop breakthrough energy technologies and curb
carbon emissions. It will also seriously undermine our ability to
monitor storm events, understand ocean acidification and help
communities prepare for and recover from floods, storms and droughts.
These investments are a no-brainer for our security, our economy and our
communities and families.