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Defying Trump, Jerry Brown to showcase American climate change efforts

Defying Trump, Jerry Brown to showcase American climate change efforts

The nationwide plan, named America's Pledge, may be the beginning of concrete, organized action taken in response to President Trump's announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord, the landmark worldwide agreement to fight climate change.

Now, one of the Climate Alliance's co-founders, California Governor Jerry Brown, has teamed up with businessman and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg to launch "America's Pledge".

In 2015, the United States' pledged the country to reduce emissions 26-28 percent against 2005 levels by 2025 in its "Nationally Determined Contribution".

California's Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg launched the "America's Pledge" initiative to compile and quantify the actions of federal states, cities and businesses in the U.S. to reduce their GHG emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

He added: "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". Last week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which includes both Republican and Democratic mayors, adopted a series of resolutions that are far more assertive than federal climate policy, including a pledge supporting cities' adoption of 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. For example, Brown was recently named as a special advisor for states and regions ahead of this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 23).

Nutall said that while the United Nations welcomes the initiative from US cities, states, and businesses, the challenge will be quantifying the effect of climate action from diverse and potentially overlapping actors, a process that will likely stretch well beyond this year's climate conference.

"To see states and cities in the US and territories and regions around the globe align their ambition and plans with the aims of the Paris agreement is nearly unprecedented in the history of U.N. environmental treaties", Nick Nuttall, director of communications and outreach for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) told ThinkProgress. "We're already halfway there". "The U.S. Climate Alliance is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Agreement, regardless of Washington's irresponsible actions".

It's the latest effort by cities and states, and Brown in particular, to fight back against President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the worldwide pact. "If the federal government insists on abdicating leadership on this issue, it will be up to the American people to step forward - and in Virginia we are doing just that". The Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute will lead the analysis for the project, paid for by grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

"This agreement is less about the climate and more about the rest of the world gaining a financial advantage over the United States", Trump said.