Even though the Trump administration has declared that the US will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the BlueGreen Alliance said that this departure will not have a negative impact on the implementation of the global deal.
The BlueGreen Alliance, consisting of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, United Steelworkers and the Union of Concerned Scientists, jointly made the statement at a discussion during the International Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany on Saturday.
The alliance leaders said labor and environmental organisations had joined businesses in taking action against climate, despite the Trump administration’s commitment to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
“The world is not standing still waiting for President Trump to come to his senses on responding to the threats posed by climate change,” said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“Fortunately, they don’t have to. Local and state leaders, businesses, union members, environmentalists, and others in the US are working together to address climate change in smart ways that will create and sustain good jobs in their communities. Their message to the world is clear: ‘we are still in,’ no matter what Donald Trump says or does,” he added.
President of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy Lisa Jacobson said: “By 2030, it is estimated that the global demand for clean energy will become a $1 trillion annual market.”
“US companies are leaders in these markets and are committed to serving the needs of customers worldwide that are demanding these solutions. We need the leadership at local, state, and regional levels — as well as the business community — to ensure we maintain America’s competitiveness in manufacturing and technology industries.”
Speakers also highlighted various opportunities for the United States to reduce carbon emissions and create quality jobs.
One such example is the “Buy Clean” legislation in California, which was recently passed by the state’s legislature and signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown.
The newly enacted law will incentivise the government of the state of California to procure materials with lower life-cycle carbon emissions when repairing and modernising the state’s infrastructure system.
Another example touted by the groups is the first offshore wind farm, off the coast of Rhode Island, which is not only creating renewable power for thousands of households, but has also resulted in quality, family-sustaining union jobs as well.
Despite the administration’s intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement, the speakers reiterated their support for the international initiative that supports workers and addresses the ongoing climate crisis.
“Last month – for the first time – the US labor movement passed a resolution on climate change, resolving to support action on combating climate change while ensuring that environmental and energy policies include a focus on ensuring high labor standards as well as environmental sustainability,” said United Steelworkers (USW) Legislative Representative Anna Fendley.
“Despite the Trump administration’s actions, the USW is committed to working at the state and local levels to keep the US commitments made in the Paris agreement.”
“Since the President’s announcement, we have seen an outpouring of innovative and courageous leaders announce new and revitalised efforts to fight climate change, while creating quality jobs,” said Jessica Eckdish, senior policy advisory for the BlueGreen Alliance.
“With or without the president and Congress, the world is moving forward and we need to keep pace to ensure that we tackle climate change in ways that increase America’s competitiveness, grow and sustain quality jobs in the US, and protect our environment, communities, and workers.”