Boston City Hall was bathed in green light on Thursday night, 1 June 2017, responding to the Trump announcement that he would be withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said the choice of decorative light was meant to symbolize Boston standing “with the environment”. Photo: Martin J. Walsh / Twitter

By Hiroko Tabuchi and Henry Fountain
1 June 2017

(The New York Times) – Representatives of American cities, states and companies are preparing to submit a plan to the United Nations pledging to meet the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Paris climate accord, despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.

The unnamed group — which, so far, includes 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses — is negotiating with the United Nations to have its submission accepted alongside contributions to the Paris climate deal by other nations [cf. Climate Mayors].

“We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed,” Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who is coordinating the effort, said in an interview.

It was unclear how, exactly, that submission to the United Nations would take place. Christiana Figueres, a former top United Nations climate official, said there was currently no formal mechanism for entities that were not countries to be full parties to the Paris accord.

Ms. Figueres, who described the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw as a “vacuous political melodrama,” said the American government was required to continue reporting its emissions to the United Nations because a formal withdrawal would not take place for several years.

But Ms. Figueres, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change until last year, said the Bloomberg group’s submission could be included in future reports the United Nations compiled on the progress made by the signatories of the Paris deal. [more]

Bucking Trump, These Cities, States and Companies Commit to Paris Accord

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