Mayors and governors must defy Trump and act on climate change

Last week, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement, rejecting decades of international diplomacy and threatening the future of our planet.

With only a short window remaining to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, we cannot wait until Trump is out of office to act on climate. Fortunately, cities and states are fighting back. Just hours after Trump’s announcement, three state governors launched the U.S. Climate Alliance. As of today, 12 states and Puerto Rico have signed on. Meanwhile, 246 mayors and counting have joined a statement by “Climate Mayors,” vowing to stand up for the Paris Agreement goals.

If enough mayors and governors commit to reducing emissions and investing in clean energy, we can continue making progress on climate change even under a Trump administration. By pushing more mayors and governors to act on climate, we can turn up the pressure for national and international action.

Tell U.S. governors and mayors: Don’t let Trump stop us from acting on climate. Affirm the Paris Agreement goals and keep leading the fight against climate change.

Climate change is already raising sea levels and increasing flooding. Higher temperatures are exacerbating droughts, wildfires and extreme weather events. Unchecked, a warming planet will lead to food shortages, forced migration, mass extinctions and other destructive outcomes.

The Paris Agreement brought together nearly every country in the world in an unprecedented cooperative effort to reverse course. Nations pledged to work toward a long-term goal of keeping global average temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, aiming to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Every country in the world is a signatory to the agreement except Nicaragua (whose representatives thought the agreement didn’t go far enough), Syria (which was divided by civil war at the time) and thanks to Trump, now the United States.

The United States is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, and our withdrawal from the Paris Agreement risks derailing the entire framework. If we cannot influence Trump and his fox-in-the-henhouse Environmental Protection Agency, then we must push our state and local leaders to act.

The response from governors and mayors has been resounding. When Trump claimed he was elected to represent Pittsburgh and not Paris, the mayor of Pittsburgh tweeted his city’s support of the Paris Agreement and issued an executive order on climate change. More mayors are signing onto the Climate Mayors pledge every day. The three states leading the governors’ Climate Alliance alone represent 68 million people and 20 percent of the United States gross domestic product, and they have been joined by nine other states and Puerto Rico in signing onto the goals of the Paris Agreement.

But hundreds of mayors and dozens of governors have not yet signed on. To make make the cuts in greenhouse gas emissions we need, more cities and states must act aggressively on climate. We need to resist Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda and join the rest of the world in building a clean energy future.

Tell U.S. governors and mayors: Affirm the Paris Agreement goals and keep leading the fight against climate change.

Originally published at