The Paris climate deal wasn’t something we were ever excited about. As George Monbiot succinctly said, “By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster.”
It could be an immeasurably greater disaster that Trump says the US is pulling out of the deal–or it could be our chance to leave incrementalism behind, and fight for the real climate goals we need.
Almost a third of all the carbon emitted into the atmosphere by humans has come from the United States. And now we’re telling the rest of the world that we’re not going to do our part to reduce emissions? It’s hard to imagine a more aggressive or immoral act. Meanwhile, Germany is banning internal combustion engines as of 2030, China is investing $360 billion in renewables by 2020, and India is cancelling new coal plants.
Here in Washington State–educated, innovative, progressive, and people-powered–we can be on the right side of history. Governor Inslee cares about climate, and he cares about the Washington economy–which could be devastated by tariffs on US goods because of the US pullout from Paris. What can he do about this? Think about the states most rational on climate–Washington, California, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York….these five states alone are nearly 30% of the US economy.
That’s why we’re launching a new campaign, Power Past Paris, to call on Governor Inslee to convene the governors of these states into a bloc that stands up to say: “We’ll abide by the Paris agreement, even if he won’t.” If we’re successful, and these states remain at the negotiating table and fight for stricter emissions targets….well, whatever our unfortunate 45th president does will be a lot less meaningful, and we will have worn a path for the rest of the country to follow.
It’s the right thing for the world, it’s the right thing for Washington State, and we have the boldness and creativity to make it happen. Sign now, and keep an eye for our emails in the coming weeks–we’re cooking up a lot of plans.
(Evening update: What do we think of the U.S. Climate Alliance, announced by Inslee today? We think it’s a good first step….we want to hear more about this “aggressive climate action”. Governors Inslee, Brown, and Cuomo all know very well that Paris was just a start, and we need to strengthen its targets. Looking like a climate leader in the US on this grim day, and looking like a climate leader in retrospect twenty years from now, are two very different things, and we’re very much hoping the governors will prove to be the latter kind of leaders….. Again, stay tuned!)