SALEM, Ore. - Governor Kate Brown was joined today by 11 other governors in a letter to President Trump urging the he continue the United States’ involvement in the international Paris Climate Agreement.
The United States was one of 195 nations that signed the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015 at the 21st Conference of Parties, the largest gathering of world leaders outside the United Nations. The agreement went into effect in November 2016. As of April 2017, 144 counties have formally ratified it.
The letter reads in part:
"We see our climate changing today through rising sea levels, increasing flooding, drought, and decreasing snow cover. These changes are causing forest fires and water shortages, adding to air pollution levels, and accelerating the spread of disease-carrying pests and causing illness and death from extreme weather patterns, amongst other impacts. Our states stand to bear the brunt of these climate change impacts and the economic costs running in the tens of billions of dollars or more.
"We stand ready as state leaders to continue to support the achievement of the existing U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement—and if possible to go further, faster. The policies we are implementing that support the U.S.’s achievement of its Paris commitment not only cut carbon pollution—they also create jobs, boost competitiveness, and bring clean energy and a cleaner environment to our citizens. These benefits can and should accrue to all Americans.
"In each of our states, the path forward is clear. Our citizens demand the low-cost, clean-air benefits that a clean energy transition can provide. Our leading U.S. companies recognize the need to address business risks and opportunities through the Paris Agreement, and are wisely investing in low-carbon fuels and technologies to stay on the cutting edge of the global economy. Our track record—reducing carbon pollution while growing jobs and our economies—provides proof that we need not sacrifice opportunity for action. Indeed, we can secure that opportunity only by continuing to lead."
Oregon is upholding the tradition of leading in the fight against climate change with the passage of the nation’s first coal-to-clean law, eliminating out-of-state coal-fired electricity for good by 2030 while increasing renewable energy to 50% by 2040. In addition, Oregon will close the last remaining coal plant in the state 20 years early in 2020. Oregon has continued historic investment in energy efficiency, significant renewable energy development, and support for alternative transportation fuels such as electric vehicles. These policies support family-wage jobs in Oregon’s clean energy economy.