State and Local Leaders Fight to Uphold America’s Paris Accord Climate Commitments with “America’s Pledge”


By: Zachary Berliner

Last month, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown launched “America’s Pledge,” an initiative which builds on recently-formed partnerships of American states, cities, and businesses committed to upholding the United States’ pledged greenhouse gas (“GHG”) reductions under the Paris climate agreement (including the “We Are Still In” declaration, the Climate Mayors coalition, and the U.S. Climate Alliance of states). This initiative comes in response to President Trump’s recent decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement, under which the United States had pledged to reduce its GHG emissions about 28% below its 2005 level by 2025.

“America’s Pledge” plans to document and quantify “the full range of climate-related activities across the whole of U.S. society” that are occurring regardless of the federal government’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement and rollback of other climate initiatives. These efforts will then culminate in a report which Bloomberg and Brown will showcase at the United Nations’ 23rd Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (“COP23”) this November.

New York City, a signatory to the “We Are Still In” declaration, has already taken action to cut GHG emissions. The Bloomberg administration, under its 2007 PlaNYC, committed the City to reducing GHG emissions by 30% below its 2005 level by 2030. Last September, the de Blasio administration announced a more aggressive goal of cutting emissions to 80% below the City’s 2005 level by 2050, and built on PlaNYC to produce New York City’s Roadmap to 80 x 50. The roadmap divides the City’s “80 x 50” efforts into four categories, energy, buildings, transportation, and waste, and the City is now working with agencies, nonprofits and businesses to cut GHG emissions in these areas.

For more information on New York City’s “80 x 50” efforts, please contact Jeffrey Gracer.