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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

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Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Phone: (804)786-5874 
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19 ATTORNEYS GENERAL JOIN "WE ARE STILL IN" COALITION TO MAINTAIN COMMITMENTS TO THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

~ Coalition of Governors, Mayors, Attorneys General, and Business and University Leaders Across The Country Releases Open Letter to International Community Pledging Support for Climate Action ~

RICHMOND (June 5, 2017)-Following President Donald Trump's announcement last week that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Attorney General Mark R. Herring and a coalition of 18 other Attorneys General have joined forces with governors, including Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, mayors, business leaders and universities across the country pledging to maintain their commitment to fighting climate change and abiding by the principles of the global agreement.


"Climate change is a real and urgent threat to Virginia's economy, environment, and the health of our citizens," said Attorney General Herring. "I am proud to work with Governor McAuliffe, our mayors, and our allies in public office and the private sector around the country to address climate change and enjoy the economic, environmental, and health benefits of cleaner air and cleaner water. In the absence of leadership in Washington, we must step up and we will."

 

The 19 state attorneys general joining the coalition today include:

  • Mark R. Herring, Virginia Attorney General,
  • Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General,
  • George Jepsen, Connecticut Attorney General,
  • Matt Denn, Delaware Attorney General,
  • Karl A. Racine, District of Columbia Attorney General,
  • Doug S. Chin, Hawaii Attorney General,
  • Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General,
  • Tom Miller, Iowa Attorney General,
  • Janet E. Mills, Maine Attorney General,
  • Brian E. Frosh, Maryland Attorney General,
  • Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General,
  • Lori Swanson, Minnesota Attorney General,
  • Hector Balderas, New Mexico Attorney General,
  • Eric T. Schneiderman, New York Attorney General,
  • Josh Stein, North Carolina Attorney General,
  • Ellen F. Rosenblum, Oregon Attorney General,
  • Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General,
  • Peter F. Kilmartin, Rhode Island Attorney General, and
  • Thomas J. Donovan Jr., Vermont Attorney General.

President Trump announced on June 1 that the United States would break ranks with more than 190 countries and leave the historic global commitment that entered into force in November 2016.  The signatories to the "We Are Still In" coalition, today released the following statement:

 

"We, the undersigned mayors, governors, attorneys general, college and university leaders and businesses are joining forces for the first time to declare, that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

 

In December 2015 in Paris, world leaders signed the first global commitment to fight climate change. The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them. In addition, nations - inspired by the actions of local and regional governments, along with businesses - came to recognize that fighting climate change brings significant economic and public health benefits. 

 

The Trump administration's announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world's ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change. Importantly, it is also out of step with what is happening in the United States.

 

In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.

 

In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.

 

It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2°C and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health."

 

The "We Are Still In" coalition pledges to ensure that despite the country's exit from the agreement the United States will continue to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

 

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