Sep 21 (Renewables Now) - The US Climate Alliance has reached 15 members which will work together to expand clean energy finance tools, modernise the power sector and make transportation greener, design energy efficient buildings and climate resilient infrastructure, and protect natural resources.
The alliance was formed after President Donald Trump said in June that the US will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. New York, California and Washington are the founding states.
The new 15th member is North Carolina, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday, while also presenting an independent report that shows the 14 member states and Puerto Rico are well on the way to achieve a greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction of between 24% and 29% from 2005 levels by 2025. This will be in line with their contribution to the Paris targets.
The US Climate Alliance members represent 36% of US population and 41%, or USD 7.6 trillion (EUR 6.36tn), of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The report shows the Alliance states have managed to cut their GHG emissions by 15% between 2005 and 2015, as compared to a 10% reduction by the rest of the country. In the same period, the combined economic output of Alliance states grew by 14%, while the rest of the country grew by 12%.
In line with the efforts of the Alliance members, New York’s governor also announced an expansion of NY Green Bank. It is committing to work with the private sector to raise new funds, support other states to set up Green Bank offices, and provide capacity to the new Green Banks for back-end services such as due diligence, underwriting and general technical support.
“The U.S. Climate Alliance is showing that reducing emissions and economic growth can happen together, and NY Green Bank's central effort in this regard to raise new capital will provide greater confidence to the marketplace, driving down costs for all while expanding New York's clean energy economy,” commented Richard Kauffman, New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance.
The governors of the Alliance states intend to be at the COP23 conference in Bonn in November to report on their progress and present further plans and solutions in the fight against climate change.
"While the federal government abdicates its responsibility on climate change, governors do not have the luxury of denying a scientific reality, and it is more important than ever for states to take collective, common sense action," Cuomo said.