PRESS RELEASE

Seventeen Governors in U.S. Climate Alliance Mark One-Year Anniversary with New Wave of Climate Actions 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 1, 2018

CONTACT: Julie Cerqueira | jcerqueira@usclimatealliance.org | 508-439-2799

--Innovative Interstate Projects Include Storing Carbon in Landscapes, Tackling ‘Super Pollutants’, Expanding Clean Energy Financing, and Softening the Impact of Federal Solar Tariffs--

--U.S. Climate Alliance States Continue to Be on Track to Meet Their Share of U.S. Paris Agreement Target, Reducing Emissions More Than 25% by 2025-- 

On the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s announcement that he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the global Paris Agreement, a bipartisan coalition of 17 governors committed to upholding the Paris Agreement through the U.S. Climate Alliance are announcing a new wave of initiatives to accelerate and scale up climate action. The U.S. Climate Alliance now represents 40 percent of the U.S. population and a $9 trillion economy, greater than the third largest country in the world, and U.S. Climate Alliance states are on track to meet their share of the Paris Agreement emissions target by 2025.

U.S. Climate Alliance governors are pledging to accelerate climate action in 2018, announcing new areas for collaboration that include: 

  • Reducing Super Pollutants: The U.S. Climate Alliance states today announce their commitment to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and are issuing a challenge for others to follow their lead. The U.S. Climate Alliance plans to release an action plan at the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018 to drive down these highly-polluting emissions by phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), capturing and putting waste methane to work, and addressing super emitters.
  • Mobilizing Financing for Climate Projects: The U.S. Climate Alliance is collaborating on a Green Banking Initiative to expand sustainable infrastructure financing opportunities and help advance new Green Banks. As a part of this initiative, NY Green Bank is raising at least $1 billion from the private sector to deploy nationally as well as providing resources and capacity that can be leveraged by newly-established Green Banks.
  • Grid Modernization: The U.S. Climate Alliance is advancing a Grid Modernization Initiative to expand the adoption of innovative approaches to utility planning that can meet electricity demand while avoiding build-out of traditional electric transmission and distribution infrastructure. These “non-wires alternatives” are driving deployment of distributed clean energy resources and reducing emissions while saving customers billions of dollars.
  • Renewable Energy: The Alliance also is establishing a Solar Soft Costs Initiative to reduce the costs of solar projects. Building on best practices pioneered by U.S. Climate Alliance states, the initiative is developing implementation resources for states and local governments to drive down the non-hardware “soft costs” of solar.  These steps will lead to better economics for customers and greater deployment, while also helping to offset the impact of the solar tariffs established by the federal government in January 2018.
  • Appliance Efficiency Standards: Various Alliance states are collaborating to advance energy efficiency standards for consumer products and appliances to save Americans billions in energy costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions. These states are stepping up in response to the federal government stalling its own appliance standards activity.
  • Building Resilient Communities and Infrastructure: The U.S. Climate Alliance, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the National Council on Science and the Environment, is working to build greater resiliency of its communities, including by fundamentally changing the way infrastructure is designed and procured. U.S. Climate Alliance states are analyzing their state’s infrastructure risks now and in the future from vulnerability to floods, wildfire, and drought to inform mitigation and adaptation planning.
  • Increasing Carbon Storage in our Landscapes: U.S. Climate Alliance states are pursuing opportunities to increase carbon storage in forests, farms, and ecosystems, and are launching a new initiative to identify best practices for land conservation, management and restoration to develop a carbon storage policy framework for implementation. This work is supported through a strategic partnership with The Nature Conservancy, American Forests, World Resources Institute, American Farmland Trust, the Trust for Public Land, Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
  • Deploying Clean Transportation: The U.S. Climate Alliance is collaborating on an initiative to accelerate deployment of zero-emissions vehicles, expand and improve mass transit and active transportation choices, and implement other measures for moving towards zero-emission vehicle miles traveled.

The U.S. Climate Alliance has made substantial progress toward the implementation of its commitment to uphold its share the Paris Agreement. Sixteen states and Puerto Rico continue to be on track to collectively meet their share of the U.S. climate target to reduce emissions by 26-28% from 2005 levels by 2025.  U.S. Climate Alliance states are reducing emissions more rapidly than the rest of the country while expanding per capita economic output twice as fast (15% Alliance emissions reductions compared to 10% national reductions from 2005-2015). Alliance states are also home to 1.3 million clean energy jobs, nearly half of the U.S. total.

Governors from the U.S. Climate Alliance plan to attend the Global Climate Action Summit in September, when thousands of global leaders convene to strategize about accelerating and scaling up emissions reductions. The U.S. Climate Alliance will provide an update on 2018 initiatives at the Summit.

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California: “The Paris Agreement is a good deal for America,” said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. “The President’s move to pull out was the wrong call. We are still in.”

Colorado:  "The work of the Climate Alliance goes to show that states will lead when the federal government won’t,” said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. “Colorado is proud to contribute to these efforts as we recognize the critical importance of creating a clean energy future."  

Connecticut: "Despite President Trump's attempts to undermine our commitment to fighting against climate change, states like Connecticut are stepping up," Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said. "By working together as states, we are not only taking action to protect our environment, we are nurturing our clean energy economies. I applaud my fellow governors for their commitment to the Climate Alliance, and I call on states that have not signed on to immediately do so for the sake of our children and grandchildren."

Delaware: “The U.S. should lead the global fight against climate change and Delaware remains committed to working in partnership with other states to take meaningful action,” said Delaware Governor John Carney. “Climate change poses a serious threat to Delaware - the lowest-lying state in the country. We are proud to be part of this Alliance, and I want to thank my fellow governors for continuing to demonstrate leadership on this issue.”

Hawai’i: “As we witnessed on Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi is experiencing first-hand the consequences of climate change and the importance of working together as a community to be resilient. We are leading the country in pursuing a 100% renewable power supply to reduce our contribution to global warming and we embrace the Paris agreement, which we committed to by law last year. Working with my fellow governors is an opportunity to amplify our voices to the world that Americans care about climate change and that we must take action now,” said Hawai’i Governor David Y. Ige.

Maryland: “Maryland will continue to make bipartisan progress on our aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals and climate resilience strategies through collaboration and innovation,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.  “Over the last year we have pushed for a stronger and broader Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and launched the nation’s first state-sponsored Climate Leadership Academy to help stakeholders across our state effectively plan, prepare, and implement critical environmental policies.”

Massachusetts: “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to continuing Massachusetts’ tradition of leading on climate change and building more resilient communities. Massachusetts is moving ahead with the largest procurement of renewable energy in the Commonwealth’s history and we are proud to partner with Rhode Island to develop the largest offshore wind farm in the country,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

Minnesota: “Minnesota has made tremendous progress to support clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, meeting our 25 percent renewable energy goal seven years ahead of schedule. Working together, states in the U.S. Climate Alliance can collaborate to do even more to ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a clean energy future, and the better environment, economy, and jobs that will surely come with it,” said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.

New Jersey: “Contrary to the viewpoint of the federal government, climate change is real and it is impacting the future of every state in the union,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “As we mark the first anniversary of the U.S. Climate Alliance, New Jersey is proud to be making critical investments in clean energy initiatives, including offshore wind, solar, and energy storage, that will benefit our residents, our neighbors and our environment while growing the Garden State’s economy.”

New York: “New York’s commitment to the Paris agreement is stronger than ever, as we continue to strengthen the U.S. Climate Alliance global fight against climate change.  Despite the federal government’s environmental inaction, New York and the coalition of states will lead by example with unprecedented investments in renewable energy, cutting harmful emissions, all while creating a clean energy economy,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

North Carolina: “Science tells us that climate change is already affecting our lives through more intense and damaging storms, sea level rise, extreme temperatures, and changes in rainfall patterns. We must listen to our scientists and increase action to protect our communities. North Carolina reaffirms its commitment to working with Climate Alliance states to support the emission reduction targets of the Paris Agreement,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

Oregon:  "Despite the decision by the White House to retreat, Oregon remains committed fulfilling the goals of the Pairs Agreement. Not only is it our moral obligation and an economic imperative to do so, but the Paris Agreement serves as a blueprint for job creation, stability and global prosperity,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown.  “Expanding and strengthening our commitment to combat climate change sends a strong message to our global partners that we will move forward in our efforts reduce carbon emissions and develop a clean energy mix to fuel the economy of the future.”

Rhode Island: “While Washington works to turn back the clock on climate progress, Rhode Island is moving forward,” Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo said.  “We’re making critical investments in energy efficiency, safeguarding our ocean, and expanding clean energy tenfold. Just this week, we doubled down on offshore wind with the announcement of 50 new turbines off our coast. We’re proud to be a part of the Climate Alliance and send the message loud and clear that the clean energy revolution is here to stay.”

Vermont: "Vermont has experienced the harmful impacts of a changing climate already. The federal government's decision to withdraw from Paris did not signal the end of U.S. climate leadership. The members the U.S. Climate Alliance stand committed to upholding our individual commitments and have worked for the past year to collectively advance policies that reach our goals," said Vermont Governor Phil Scott.

Virginia:  "Working with a strong coalition of states through the Climate Alliance is important as Virginia develops comprehensive strategies to address the impacts of climate change,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.  “We are focused on reducing our carbon footprint in a way that grows our clean energy economy and creates new business opportunities across the Commonwealth."

Washington: “Across the country, the move towards clean, renewable energy has become unstoppable. People want clean air, a healthy environment, and the jobs and investments that come with building the next generation economy, and nothing the federal government chooses to do can change that,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee. “States, cities and businesses are all stepping up. The 17 governors of the U.S Climate Alliance are absolutely dedicated to fulfilling our vision of a clean energy future.”

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US Climate Alliance

The United States Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of seventeen governors committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.                                

California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Hawaii | Maryland | Massachusetts | Minnesota | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Oregon | Puerto Rico | Rhode Island | Vermont | Virginia | Washington

Statement from Andrew M. Cuomo on EPA Rollbacks

"Once again, the Trump administration is turning its back on our environment and putting our economy, our children and our planet at risk. The proposal to roll back air pollution and fuel economy standards is another shameless giveaway to the dying fossil fuel industry at the expense of our economy and the health of the American people. This plan would upend auto industry regulation in this country, decrease consumer satisfaction with worse gas mileage, jeopardize the rapidly growing clean energy economy and degrade the quality of our air.     

"New York is proud to be leading the way in the fight to reduce emissions, including through our bold commitment to electric vehicles and our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030. If the federal government moves forward with this backward plan, we will work with California and other states to preserve our stringent emission standards - ensuring we continue to protect the health of our residents while attracting the clean energy jobs of tomorrow."

 

 

GOV. MALLOY AND COMMISSIONER KLEE BLAST TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DECISION TO WEAKEN TAILPIPE EMISSIONS AND FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

 (HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Rob Klee are criticizing a decision announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to roll-back greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for automobiles.

“As we have seen too often from the Trump administration, the EPA’s announcement today again abdicates its leadership role on climate, energy and the environment,” Governor Malloy said.  “States have long led the way on many important issues, including climate change.  President Trump is once again putting the interests of big business ahead of the health and economic interests of the American people.  This shortsighted decision will lead to decreasing fuel efficiency, which means more frequent stops at the gas station and higher gas bills for Connecticut drivers.  We will continue to work with California and other like-minded states to safeguard the protections provided by the federal Clean Air Act and the Advanced Clean Car program.”

“Human-induced climate change is the most significant environmental issue we face today, and taking action now to mitigate the most damaging impacts of climate change offers one of the greatest opportunities for reshaping, reenergizing, and transforming our economy to create the green jobs and green industries of the future,” Commissioner Klee said.  “While this administration may actively try to prevent states from exerting their sovereign rights to fill the void created by federal inaction, we will continue to do our part as a national leader to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, and look forward to a time when our federal government again allows science and not the demands of the auto industry to drive the important goals and objectives of the advanced clean cars program.”

California is allowed to set their own motor vehicle tailpipe standards in recognition of their unique air quality challenges and of their early efforts that pre-dated the federal Clean Air Act.  Connecticut and 11 other states are authorized to adopt California’s standards under section 177 of the federal Clean Air Act provided U.S. EPA first issues a waiver to California under section 209 of the federal Clean Air Act indicating California’s standards are at least as stringent as federal standards.

The standards at issue are part of a broader agreement made in 2012 among the State of California, U.S. EPA, U.S. DOT/NHSTA and the major auto manufacturers.  Under this agreement, California and the federal government agreed to harmonize state and federal tailpipe emission standards for greenhouse gases with federal fuel efficiency standards.  The State of California agreed to find vehicles certified as meeting the federal tailpipe standards as being deemed in compliance with the California standards (also adopted by 12 other states, and when combined represent 35% of the national light duty vehicle market).  The agreement included a mid-term evaluation during which California assessed three elements of the clean cars program: the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) regulation, the one milligram per mile (mg/mi) particulate matter (PM) standard, and the light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas standards for 2022 and later model years.  U.S. EPA agreed to conduct a similar review of the standards for model year 2022-25.

California’s technical staff worked with U.S. EPA and NHTSA to review the federal light-duty greenhouse gas standards for 2022 through 2025 model years. This review included collaborating on a second joint Technical Assessment Report (TAR) to re-assess the technical assumptions and analysis used to develop the greenhouse gas standards.  The Draft (Joint) TAR was published for public comment in July 2016.  After reviewing public comments, U.S. EPA updated their analysis and published for public comment in November 2016 a Proposed Determination that the 2022 through 2025 federal standards remain as adopted.  Subsequent to a review of public comment, U.S. EPA concluded their midterm evaluation and published a Final Determination in January 2017 that affirmed the existing federal greenhouse gas standards would remain as adopted.  In March 2017, EPA rescinded the Final Determination, and announced that a “new” Final Determination would be published by April 1, 2018.

 

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For Immediate Release: April 2, 2018

Contact: David Bednarz

Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy

David.Bednarz@ct.gov

860-524-7315 (office)

860-770-9792 (cell)

 

Contact: Chris Collibee

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Chris.Collibee@ct.gov

860-424-3110 (office)

860-205-7457 (cell)

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Joins U.S. Climate Alliance

U.S. Climate Alliance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  February 22, 2018
CONTACT:  Julie Cerqueira | info@usclimatealliance.org

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Joins U.S. Climate Alliance

Bipartisan Climate Alliance Expands to 17 Governors, Representing over 40% of U.S. Population and nearly $9 Trillion of National GDP

This week, Governor Phil Murphy signed into legislation a bill adding New Jersey as a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance.  He stated that “New Jersey is committed to protecting our environment and investing in a clean energy economy. By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, we are joining with likeminded states to push back against a federal government that continues to undermine and abandon initiatives to combat the reality of climate change. I am proud to take this step and make environmental initiatives a top priority in New Jersey.”

By joining the Alliance, governors commit to:

  • Implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, and aim to reduce greenhouse gas emission by at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025;
  • Track and report progress to the global community in appropriate settings, including when the world convenes to take stock of the Paris Agreement; and
  • Accelerate new and existing policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy deployment at the state and federal level.

Since taking office on January 16th, Governor Murphy has reestablished New Jersey’s leadership on climate change and clean energy by taking a number of concrete steps to accelerate emissions reductions in the state.  Notably, the governor issued an Executive Order to begin the process of reentering the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – a cooperative, market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, joining seven other Alliance States engaged in the program.  He has also directed the Board of Public Utilities to begin the process of advancing 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy generation by 2030 – the most ambitious statewide goal to date.

Governor Murphy is also fighting back against efforts to undermine climate leadership in the United States.  Under his leadership, New Jersey is joining a multi-state coalition opposing the federal government’s expansion of offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, and withdrawing New Jersey from a multi-state lawsuit (West Virginia v. EPA) opposing the Obama Administration’s signature climate change rule, the Clean Power Plan.

With New Jersey as its newest member, the Alliance represents over 40 percent of the U.S. population and a nearly $9 trillion economy – in GDP terms, it would be the third largest country in the world.  The climate and clean energy policies of these states have created 1.6 million clean energy jobs, equivalent to nearly half of all clean energy jobs in the United States.

Alliance states are showing the nation and the world that ambitious climate action is achievable, and that climate leadership grows economies. The 2017 analysis by the Climate Alliance, shows that under current policies alone, Alliance states are on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 24-29 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.  Alliance states continue to lead – on February 27th, Alliance States will be convening in Washington, DC to set their strategic priorities for 2018, and looking towards the September Global Climate Action Summit and the 24th annual climate negotiations to demonstrate how Governors are delivering on their climate commitments, and identify additional opportunities for ambitious climate action.

 

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The United States Climate Alliance was formed by Governors Andrew Cuomo, Jay Inslee, and Jerry Brown in response to the U.S. federal government’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change. The bipartisan coalition of governors is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

US Climate Alliance

California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Hawaii | Maryland | Massachusetts | Minnesota |

| New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Oregon | Puerto Rico | Rhode Island | Vermont |

| Virginia | Washington |

 

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Joins U.S. Climate Alliance

U.S. Climate Alliance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 11, 2018
CONTACT: Julie Cerqueira | info@usclimatealliance.org

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Joins U.S. Climate Alliance

Bipartisan Climate Alliance Expands to 16 Governors, Representing 40% of U.S. Population and $7.4 Trillion of National GDP

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan this week announced his plans to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 16 governors committed to reducing their states’ greenhouse gas emissions and working together to meet the goals of the historic Paris climate agreement.

“The importance of aggressive but balanced action in states, communities, and businesses and the need for multi-state collaboration and international leadership on climate change grows stronger every day,” stated Governor Hogan.

Alliance states are showing the nation and the world that ambitious climate action is achievable, and that climate leadership grows economies. Under current policies alone, Alliance states are on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 24-29 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Alliance states continue to lead – in upcoming weeks, they will be announcing a range of new actions to accelerate progress towards tackling climate change.

By joining the Alliance, governors commit to:  

  • Implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emission by at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025
  • Track and report progress to the global community in appropriate settings, including when the world convenes to take stock of the Paris Agreement, and
  • Accelerate new and existing policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy deployment at the state and federal level.

Maryland is already on a pathway to reduce its emissions 25 percent by 2020, and Governor Hogan is leading the effort to develop a comprehensive plan to meet the even more ambitious goal of a 40 percent reduction by 2030. His climate action leadership has been supported by the establishment of a Maryland Commission on Climate Change that is a “model for bipartisan, science-based climate and energy policy,” according to Hogan. Maryland is also a member of the bipartisan Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a regional carbon trading market that caps emissions from power plants, and strategically invests those resources into clean energy and the environment.

New U.S. Climate Alliance Executive Director Julie Cerqueira welcomed Governor Hogan’s announcement, noting, “By seeking solutions to today’s climate challenges, Alliance governors from both parties are driving innovation, attracting investment, and transforming markets in ways that grow their economies and create jobs.”

The climate and clean energy policies in Alliance states have attracted billions of dollars of new investment and helped create more than 1.3 million clean energy jobs. “In Maryland, we are living proof that it is possible to both protect the natural world around us while also fostering a pro-jobs and vibrant economic opportunity environment,” according to Governor Hogan.

The U.S. Climate Alliance’s 2017 Annual Report shows that Alliance states are not only outpacing non-Alliance states in reducing their emissions, they are also growing their economies at a faster pace. Between 2005 and 2015, per capita economic output in Alliance states expanded twice as fast as in the rest of the country.

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The United States Climate Alliance was formed by Governors Andrew Cuomo, Jay Inslee, and Jerry Brown in response to the U.S. federal government’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change. The bipartisan coalition of governors is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

US Climate Alliance

California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Hawaii | Maryland | Massachusetts | Minnesota | New York | North Carolina | Oregon | Puerto Rico | Rhode Island | Vermont | Virginia | Washington