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US states, cities defy Trump, pledge support for Paris accord

Sunday, 2017-11-12 16:20:06
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California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks in the US Climate Action Center at the COP 23 Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017.

An alliance of US states, cities, companies and universities has defied President Donald Trump’s stance on the Paris Agreement, saying they are still committed to the climate change accord.

The group gathered on the fringes of a United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany Saturday, to pledge their support for the campaign against global warming.

"It is important for the world to know, the American government may have pulled out of the Paris agreement, but the American people are committed to its goals, and there is nothing Washington can do to stop us," said former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In addition, Gov. Jerry Brown of California said the US has “a federal system, and states have real power as do cities.”

“When cities and states combine together, and then join with powerful corporations, that's how we get stuff done," he added, affirming "we're still in, we're still in."


Michael Bloomberg speaks at the conference on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017.

Along with Bloomberg and Brown was Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who is presiding over the UN conference at its climate headquarters in Bonn that lasts until Friday.

The talks aim to design a detailed set of rules to help guide forward the agreement whose goal is to end the fossil-fuel era by the end of the century.

Trump, who has called climate change a Chinese “hoax,” pulled the US out of the accord in June, a year after his predecessor Barack Obama signed it.

During his election campaign, Trump had said he would "cancel" the accord in his first 100 days as president in order to save the declining coal industry in the US.

He called the deal unfair to American workers and said it stifled production and imposed burdens on the country.

The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016 and has been signed by 197 countries, of which 135 have now formally ratified it, which represent more than 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.