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US without Trump could yield climate goals: America’s Pledge

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Trump created a Cabinet level task force to prevent veteran suicidesMadrid, Dec 9 (IANS) In the wake of President Trump’s pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, America’s Pledge, an initiative of former New York City Mayor R. Bloomberg, on Monday said expanded bottom-up action could yield 37 per cent reduction in US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

In its third report analyzing US greenhouse gas emissions, it showed the potential for progress on US emissions reductions if climate-forward leaders are elected to all levels of government — from city halls to the White House.

It captures the power of US states, cities, businesses, and other organizations representing nearly 70 per cent of the country’s GDP to reduce emissions and help advance the country toward the Paris Agreement targets.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg will officially present the report to the UN at an event at the ongoing 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in this Spanish capital.

Accelerating America’s Pledge is the first analysis to take the current momentum towards climate leadership among US states, cities, and businesses, and project how far that leadership, without Washington, can take the US by 2030.

It then layers onto those projections an analysis of a federal administration that has applied the policies developed and tested at the state and local level on a national scale.

The report projects these two emissions reductions scenarios based on city, state, business, and federal adoption of ambitious climate action policies.

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The first scenario involves a coalition of states, cities, and businesses deploying aggressive best-practice climate policies informed by the ongoing action of current climate leaders.

This is projected to reduce emissions 37 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The second scenario involves a reengaged federal government layering aggressive, post-2020 climate action onto the bottom-up efforts outlined in scenario one.

This would put the US on track to reduce emissions 49 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement, and lay the foundation for a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

The report also projects emissions reductions based on the current trajectory of climate action with existing, on-the-books commitments from non-federal actors and without engagement from the federal government.

Existing commitments from the coalition of states, cities, and businesses currently committed to the Paris Agreement would reduce emissions 25 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, significantly faster progress than the report was able to measure only a year ago.

Meanwhile, business leaders from across Europe have urged the EU to drive and deliver higher ambition on the economic and just transition to net zero emissions.

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Businesses, including Unilever, IKEA, EDF, ACCIONA, DSM, and Iberdrola, are calling for confirmation by the EU of a net zero target of at least 2050, with an increase to at least 55 per cent emissions reductions by 2030, and the rapid delivery plan needed in place to reach these standards.

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Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever said: “Businesses have a responsibility to take action that will help address climate change, and many of us are already doing so. But we need to accelerate progress. A European strategy to deliver net zero emissions by 2050 is essential to signal the direction and speed of travel that is necessary to achieve the 1.5-degree ambition set out in the Paris Agreement.”

The businesses as part of the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe) last month urged the EU to increase its present 40 per cent 2030 target to at least 55 per cent, in line with research indicating a substantially higher standard is needed if the aims of the Paris Agreement are to be met.

As the COP25 opened, UN Secretary General AntAnio Guterres suggested “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon”.

He said the climate crisis was imminent and political leaders had to respond.

This week the European Council is expected to discuss further the EU’s ambition to confirm its 2050 net zero target. With new Commission President Ursula von der Leyen now confirmed in post, announcements are also expected on the European Green Deal and Just Transition Fund.

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