Seventeen U.S Governors announce new wave of climate actions

The governors are all members of the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is committed to delivering the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Seventeen U.S. state governors committed to upholding the Paris Agreement through the U.S. Climate Alliance, announced new initiatives to accelerate and scale up climate action.

The governors have pledged 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 is establishing a Solar Soft Costs Initiative to reduce the costs of solar projects. Building on best practices the initiative is developing 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 Infrastructure, and Natural Resources: 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 travelled.

The states that make up the U.S. Climate Alliance 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.

The U.S. Climate Alliance said that its 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.

The full press release with quotes from each governor can be found here

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