The office of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Wednesday he is joining 11 other U.S. governors in appealing to the Trump administration not to pull out of the Paris Accord, the 2015 global climate agreement backed by the Obama administration.
A letter to President Trump signed by Hickenlooper and the other governors — all Democrats, including Govs. Jerry Brown of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York — contends, “Maintaining the U.S. commitment is essential to protect our residents, and indeed, all Americans from the potentially catastrophic impacts of a changing climate.”
The letter further states:
Collective action to limit emissions world-wide is critical; without collaboration, climate change will cost the world’s nations several trillion dollars in damages. Under the Paris Agreement, all the world’s major economies are taking action on climate change for the first time, including China and India, which have put forward their own commitments to cut their carbon pollution domestically. If the U.S. does not maintain global climate leadership through national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean energy, China and India will. This would be a huge lost opportunity, putting us at a competitive disadvantage and potentially locking us into technologies and economic pathways that are increasingly obsolete while China and India reap the benefits of low-carbon leadership.
A press statement issued by Hickenlooper’s office quotes the governor on Colorado’s interest in supporting the pact:
“Remaining in the Paris Agreement is crucial to Colorado’s future. … Clean energy is a win for Colorado jobs, a win for Colorado consumers, and a win for cleaner air. We look forward to continuing our progress and working with this administration to create 21st century jobs for a 21st century workforce.”
The Trump administration has been signaling its interest in leaving or at least renegotiating U.S. participation in the accord. Under its terms, the Obama administration agreed to cut U.S. greenhouse emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
Reports out of Washington say the administration still is mulling the pending move, with key influencers in the Trump camp spanning the spectrum. Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are said to want the president to stay on board. So does Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt wants out while Energy Secretary Rick Perry wants the agreement renegotiated.
The press statement by Hickenlooper’s office also states:
Colorado ranks among the nation’s largest clean energy employers. As of 2015, 2,070 clean technology companies operate in Colorado, and the industry supports more than 62,000 jobs. These clean tech jobs provide Coloradans $3.6 billion in wages. Colorado’s renewable energy industry is poised for significant growth in the years ahead, which will help clean Colorado’s air, reduce consumers’ electricity bills, and support well-paying jobs.