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Hawai‘i Joins ‘We are Still In’ Climate Coalition

June 5, 2017, 3:23 PM HST (Updated June 5, 2017, 3:25 PM) · 6 Comments
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File photo by James Grenz.

Following President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige and Attorney General Doug Chin joined forces with governors, mayors, business leaders and universities across the country, pledging to maintain their commitment to fighting climate change and abiding by the principles of the global agreement.

“I am proud to stand beside both Gov. Ige and many of my fellow attorneys general as a signatory to the ‘We are Still In’ Coalition,” Attorney General Chin said, Climate change is of unique importance to our island state, and I will be working with my fellow attorneys general to find ways to act effectively, even when the federal government won’t.”

In addition to Attorney General Chin, other state attorneys general joining the coalition today include California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

The Paris Climate Agreement requires participating countries to limit global warming to well below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit from preindustrial levels and encourages them to pursue efforts to keep temperature increases to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

President Trump announced on June 1 that the U.S. would break ranks with more than 190 countries and leave the historic global commitment that entered into force in November 2016.

The “We Are Still In” coalition pledges to ensure that despite the country’s exit from the agreement the U.S. will continue to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The signatories to the “We are Still In” coalition, today released the following statement:

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“We, the undersigned mayors, governors, attorneys general, college and university leaders and businesses are joining forces for the first time to declare, that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

In December 2015 in Paris, world leaders signed the first global commitment to fight climate change. The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them. In addition, nations—inspired by the actions of local and regional governments, along with businesses—came to recognize that fighting climate change brings significant economic and public health benefits.

The Trump administration’s announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change. Importantly, it is also out of step with what is happening in the United States.

In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.

In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.

It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2°C and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity and health.”

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