US coalition vows to stick with Paris pact

NEW YORK • A coalition of American states, cities and businesses that have pledged to stick with the Paris climate pact will team up with experts to quantify their climate commitments and share their plans with the United Nations, vowing to act despite the Trump administration's exit from the accord.

The American coalition now includes 227 cities and counties, nine states and about 1,650 businesses and investors.

The country had committed to reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2025, compared with 2005 levels.

The group, led by Governor Jerry Brown of California and Mr Michael Bloomberg, a former New York mayor, plans to work with outside experts to measure the effects of their pledges, and to announce an early tally at a UN climate conference this year.

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"The American government may have pulled out of the Paris Agreement, but American society remains committed to it - and we will redouble our efforts to achieve its goals," said Mr Bloomberg, a UN special envoy for cities and climate change.

Mr Brown said: "We're sending a clear message to the world that America's states, cities and businesses are moving forward with our country's commitments under the Paris Agreement - with or without Washington."

The study will measure the effect, by 2025, of new climate action by cities, states, businesses and universities that have signed up to the effort, organisers said. It will also include the effects of climate-friendly policies that are already in effect at local levels, whether or not they are part of the coalition. The analysis, led by the think-tanks World Resources Institute and Rocky Mountain Institute, will compare that effect with business-as-usual scenarios, as well as the Obama-era Paris commitment.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2017, with the headline 'US coalition vows to stick with Paris pact'. Print Edition | Subscribe