Massachusetts and Vermont Call on Trump Administration to Stay in Paris Agreement

May 17, 2017

Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker and Vermont Governor Philip Scott sent a joint letter to the Trump Administration on May 17, 2017, requesting that the U.S. stay in the global climate agreement and noting that the U.S. commitment under the agreement is “achievable.” The U.S. committed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 under the agreement.

In their letter to U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Baker and Scott noted that they are “Republican Governors of states that have taken a leadership role in combating climate change,” and that their states have already achieved tremendous progress on cutting carbon pollution and will continue to do their share to reach the U.S. target. They go on to say that achieving the 2025 goal is achievable but requires “continued national leadership.”

The letter adds: “There are shared costs that need to be addressed to cut carbon pollution, but we have also proven we can do it in a way that creates jobs, makes our states more competitive, and makes us leaders in the clean energy economy.”

The Massachusetts and Vermont letter follows a May 3, 2017, letter from governors of 12 states similarly urging the Trump Administration to stay in the Paris Agreement. The Georgetown Climate Center worked with California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington to facilitate that letter.

The letter to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry follows:

We, the Republican Governors of states that have taken a leadership role in combating climate change, write today to request the United States maintain the commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Our states, working individually and in multi-state efforts, have already made tremendous progress in reducing our carbon emissions. The U.S. commitment of 26-28 percent below 2005 levels is achievable, but we need continued national leadership.

The impacts of climate change have already been felt in our states. We have seen the impacts of rising sea levels, increasingly severe flooding, heat waves, droughts, and decline in snow cover. These impacts threaten the people of our states and put an intense burden on our economies.

We will continue to do our share to help our nation reach the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). We will not, however, reach the NDC goal alone. There are shared costs that need to be addressed to cut carbon pollution, but we have also proven we can do it in a way that creates jobs, makes our states more competitive, and makes us leaders in the clean energy economy. These benefits can and should accrue to all Americans.

We believe maintaining this commitment and the U.S. leadership on climate change is the right action for the protection of our children, grandchildren and future generations. It also allows us to maintain our global economic leadership.

Click here to view the transmitted version of the letter.

 

Additional Governor Statements:

Press release by Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker

Press release by Vermont Gov. Philip Scott