“We cannot achieve our climate goals without the engagement of local and regional communities. That has become even clearer after the US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement,” German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said on Saturday.
President Donald Trump’s pull-out “underscores the important role that non-state actors, and particularly subnational actors play in achieving the overall objective and goals of the [Paris] Agreement,” reads the joint statement issued after Hendricks and California Governor Jerry Brown met in San Francisco on Friday.
“California and Germany unite the world leaders in the fight against climate change, the existential threat of our time,” Brown said.
In 2015, California along with the German state of Baden-Württemberg formed an intergovernmental panel ‘Under2Coalition’ to gather states and regions willing to curb their emissions. The initiative now spans 175 jurisdictions from 35 countries, intent to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by reducing their emissions.
“The current withdrawal from the Paris Accord by the Washington administration is being overcome and countermanded by people throughout the whole world,” Brown said.
Following Trump’s announcement that the US was pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, the governors of California, Washington and New York committed to achieving the US goal to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, set by the Paris accord. Since then, nine other states have joined the so-called US Climate Alliance.
In addition to the US Climate Alliance, 1,219 American governors, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities issued a statement “We are still in,” saying they will pursue the goals set in Paris in 2015.
Earlier this week, Brown struck a deal with the Chinese Jiangsu Province on clean energy technology, emissions trading and air pollution reduction.