Thursday, June 8, 2017

Paris Agreement: Sonoma County and city governments ‘are still in’

Sonoma County and local city governments are part of a national movement, declaring that they “will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.” (“We Are Still In,”

In the June 7 Press Democrat, reporter Derek Moore relates, Santa Rosa, Windsor, Petaluma and Sonoma County “join more than 100 cities, hundreds of businesses and universities and a handful of states around the country” in a coalition that was formed to push back against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from an international climate agreement that was originally signed by 190 countries.

At “We Are Still In,” an open letter reads in part:

“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, businesses and investors, 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.”

I’m heartened by this steadfast commitment at local and state levels of government, but want to emphasize that private individuals can also play our parts.

We make consumer choices every day that enlarge or reduce our “footprint.” Where we spend our dollars, directly reflects our priorities -- as individuals and as a society -- and will ultimately shape the direction that our future takes.

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