When the United States formally withdraws from the 2015 Paris Agreement in less than a year, nearly half of states — or at least their governors — will remain committed to meeting the goals of the global compact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stave off the worst effects of climate change.
Collectively, the 24 states that have formed the U.S. Climate Alliance are nearly on pace to reach the emissions targets set forth in the agreement, and governors say their progress in the absence of federal leadership is a success story.
But even where states have succeeded in shrinking their carbon footprint, they’ve been hampered by the Trump administration’s rollbacks to regulations on power plants and vehicle emissions. And scant progress in the remaining 26 states, which produce more than half of the country’s emissions, shows the limits of state action in meeting the national milestones that scientists say are essential.
“The challenge has been that for each step that they take forward, the administration continues to unwind our national climate framework,” said Julie Cerqueira, executive director of the Alliance.