Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

We still need to do more to stabilize climate change

We still need to do more to stabilize climate change

The issue arose when city residents Sarah Koenigsberg and Lily Seaman presented a letter to the city cosigned by 88 others that presented a draft resolution that would have Walla Walla join 1,219 USA cities in "supporting the spirit of the Paris Agreement" and examine potential policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"We're urging the governor to make a more formal affirmation and commitment to working with other parties to achieve the goals that we set out for ourselves", he says.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said he would follow the Paris Agreement "for our people, our future and economy" (Washingtonpost.com) and added "It's now up to cities to lead" (TheHill.com).

In the days after the President announced that the U.S. would pull out of the climate deal it played a heavy hand in forming, Hawaii became the first state to codify in law its commitment to honour the goals agreed to by all but three countries in the world.

To the contrary, our experience at the county is that climate action initiatives are some the smartest things we can do for job growth, economic development, resiliency, energy independence and business sector competitiveness.

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The UN's own figures reveal that even in an implausibly optimistic, best-case scenario, the Paris accord would leave 99% of the climate problem in place.

RobecoSAM, an asset manager specialised in sustainable investing, doesn't immediately go as far as Oekom, but notes that Trump's decision to cancel the Paris climate deal will "accelerate climate change, downgrade the country's performance in the environmental area and affect the U.S. country sustainability profile", said Max Schieler, senior country risk specialist at RobecoSAM. Already, these heat waves are costing lives, and the scientific link between human-induced global warming and heat waves is crystal clear. Former US Vice President Al Gore says that Trump is damaging "humanity's ability to solve the climate crisis".

Ms Biskupsi co-chairs a sustainability committee with the US Conference of Mayors, which meets twice a year.

In announcing his decision, the President appealed to forgotten industrial towns in the rust belt of America, saying that he was elected to represent "Pittsburgh, not Paris".

"The Council (of European Union member states) deeply regrets the unilateral decision by the U.S. administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement", said a statement approved by the bloc's foreign ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg.

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"But the abandonment of Paris by the United States administration will not mean the end of the agreement".

Those goals were included in legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2015 to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

Yet President Trump's announcement puts the United States at odds with every country in the world but two, Syria and Nicaragua, and the latter's reasoning for rejecting the agreement was that it wasn't strong enough.

We really can save the world while making the vast majority of Americans financially better off with this simple policy.

So it is left to leaders on the state, city and local levels to do what Trump has thus far shown himself incapable of on any number of fronts: to lead.

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