By June 2, 2017 Read More →

US emissions reductions to continue despite Paris Accord withdrawal: Tillerson, Bloomberg

US emissions

In Paris on Friday, Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said citizens and cities, along with market forces that made solar and wind energy more economical than coal, have led the charge in reducing US emissions.

US emissions reductions occurring prior to Paris agreement

On Friday, United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said US emissions reductions will continue despite President Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris Climate Accord.

“It was a policy decision and I think it’s important that everyone recognize the United States has a terrific record on reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions,” Tillerson told reporters at the State Department.

He added the US reduced its GHG emissions prior to the Paris agreement. “I don’t think we’re going to change our ongoing efforts to reduce those emissions in the future either, so hopefully people can keep it in perspective.”

USGSTillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp, had argued that the United States should remain in the global climate pact so it could maintain its position at the international bargaining table over addressing climate change.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael Bloomberg, said American cities, states and businesses can fulfil commitments made by the US under the Paris agreement, even though President Trump withdrew the US from the pact.

Reuters reports following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo on Friday Bloomberg said “Americans don’t need Washington to meet our Paris commitments, and Americans are not going to let Washington stand in the way of fulfilling it.”

Bloomberg said the US has led the world on emissions reductions over the past decade.  Citizens and cities, along with market forces that have made solar and wind energy more economical than coal, have led the charge – not the federal government.

“I want the world to know that the U.S. will meet its Paris commitments and that through partnerships among cities, states and businesses we will seek to remain part of the Paris agreement process,” Bloomberg said.

The former mayor of New York City said he will notify the UN Secretary General and the climate change secretariat that American cities, states and businesses will work to meet the commitment made by former President Obama to reduce emissions by 26 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025.

“We are already halfway there and we can accelerate our process further even without any support from Washington,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg’s own foundation will spearhead the US effort, calling the operation “America’s Pledge”.  He vows the organization will submit “nationally determined contributions” like nations participating in the pact.

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His foundation will also provide the $15 million commitment the US climate change secretariat will lose after the Trump decision.  The money will ensure there is no disruption in the work and help fulfil the Paris agreement reporting requirements so the world can track the progress made by the US.

In a joint press conference with Bloomberg and Hidalgo, Macron said the Paris climate pact will carry on, despite Trump’s decision to leave.

“The Paris agreement is irreversible and will be implemented because it is our responsibility,” he said.

He added that major polluters including China, Russia and India had confirmed their commitment to it.

“Yesterday, the government of a great nation renounced its climate obligations, but a nation is not only its government,” Macron said. “Other actors — political and economical and civil — have stood up, and thousands of promising initiatives are being taken. We will support them and fight on their side.”

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