Cooper signs on to Paris climate change pact

North Carolina now among nine states to denounce Trumps Paris Accord withdrawal

Eamon Queeney—North State Journal
FILE PHOTO:Governor Roy Cooper speaks during the North Carolina Education Cabinet's first meeting of the year at the Department of Administration building in downtown Raleigh

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and Attorney General Josh Stein (D) have signed on to an open letter stating that they will continue to support climate action that aligns with the Paris Accord. The move follows President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday that he is withdrawing the United States from the 195-country global pact to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change signed by former Pres. Barack Obama in 2015.The letter lists North Carolina among nine states who believe Trump’s actions “undermine a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damage the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change.” In a message on his official Twitter account, Cooper said he was “proud to join other leaders to say ‘We Are Still In’ on reducing pollution and supporting the global Paris agreement.”The letter does not currently include any Republican governors, though it has been reported that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) plans to join the newly formed U.S. Climate Alliance, which seeks to uphold the goals of the Paris Accord. Several advocacy groups joined forces, including the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, and the Center for American Progress, to draft the letter and coordinate signatures. Hundreds of businesses, inventors, universities, and local governments have also signed on to the effort to challenge the president, including North Carolina Mayors Jennifer Roberts of Charlotte, Bill Bell of Durham, Allen Joines of Winston-Salem, and Esther Manheimer of Asheville.”In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities, businesses and investors, representing a sizeable [sic] percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions,” the letter reads. In a speech from the White House Rose Garden last week, Trump said the Paris agreement is “less about climate and more about giving other countries an economic advantage over the United States.”Trump said that by 2040, compliance with the commitments put into place through the accord would cost close to $3 trillion in lost gross domestic product and millions of jobs. Trump also announced that the U.S. would no longer put a promised $1 billion into the Green Climate Fund, an international fund that pays developing countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions through aid and energy support. “America is $20 trillion in debt, millions of citizens are out of work, yet under the Paris Accord millions of U.S. dollars that ought to be invested right here are going to countries that have taken our factories,” said Trump.The president did not address the merits of climate change in his speech on Wednesday.Updated June 7th at 11:00am