President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement earlier this year, but a coalition of U.S. cities, companies and other groups remain committed to cutting greenhouse gasses, and they want the world to know.
The “We are still in” coalition opened a 2,500-square meter (27,000-square foot) tent pavilion outside the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany on Thursday, where delegates from almost 200 nations are working on details of the agreement, which plans to eliminate fossil fuel by the year 2100.
The U.S. government delegation office at the talks is much smaller since Trump wasn’t invited.
“There is a tradition of non-partisanship for protecting our planet,” said James Brainard, the Republican mayor of the town of Carmel, Indiana, at an opening event. “It is unfortunate we have moved away from it.”
Trump said in June he would pull out of the Paris Agreement and promote coal and oil industries in the U.S.
The “We are still in” campaign is made up of states, cities, universities, faith groups and environmental activists who want delegates from other nations at the Nov. 6-17 United Nations talks to know that many Americans don’t agree with Trump’s pull-out.
According to the organization, they represent “more than 130 million Americans and $6.2 trillion of annual economic output,” Reuters reported.
Fiji, which is presiding at the UN talks, praised the coalition, calling it a “perfect example” of how the Paris accord aims to widen action beyond national governments.
California Gov. Jerry Brown is leading the battle over U.S. climate policy and vowed to help the country reach its emissions reductions targets despite Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord. He’s been named the special adviser for states and regions at the talks.
Brown called climate change an existential threat and said he’s going to announce in Bonn that more signatories will be joining the “Under2 coalition,” a global community committed to decarbonization and supporting the Paris agreement’s climate goal of keeping the rise in global average temperatures below 2 degrees centigrade.
He added that the goal should be to get to zero emissions by 2050, and said that “in addition to the national leadership, there is a big opening for those governmental entities below the national state to do their part.”
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