Paris Climate Agreement: Four US states join alliance committed to upholding deal

Boston: The governors of four New England states including two Republicans are joining a bipartisan coalition of states committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The move comes a day after Republican president Donald Trump announced he is withdrawing the United States from the agreement, a pact involving nearly 200 nations aimed at slowing the warming of the planet.

Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker said on Friday that he had decided to partner with other states to combat climate change after speaking with Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott and New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Citizens protest against Trump's decision to exit the Paris Climate agreement in Berlin. AP

Citizens protest against Trump's decision to exit the Paris Climate agreement in Berlin. AP

He said Massachusetts will continue its commitment to exceed the emission reduction targets of the Paris compact. In 2008, Massachusetts lawmakers passed a law requiring the state to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

"Our administration looks forward to continued, bipartisan collaboration with other states to protect the environment, grow the economy and deliver a brighter future to the next generation," Baker said in a statement.

Earlier on Friday Baker — who didn't support Trump during last year's campaign and didn't vote for him — said he didn't think Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement was the right thing for the country or the world.

Scott said that Vermont is also joining the US Climate Alliance to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement, which was started by the Democratic governors of California, New York and Washington.

Scott called Vermont a leader in environmental policy and natural resource management and said Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement "only strengthens our commitment and makes the work of states more important."

"If our national government isn't willing to lead in this area," Scott said, "the states are prepared to step up." Baker and Scott last month urged Trump to continue the US commitment to the climate agreement. The two wrote a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry saying that maintaining the commitment to the agreement and to US leadership on climate change will help protect future generations.

Connecticut Governor Dannel P Malloy and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo — both Democrats — are also joining the alliance.

Malloy said that Connecticut is "a national leader in combating climate change" and has no intention of slowing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Updated Date: Jun 07, 2017 17:38 PM

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