Minnesota will join a dozen other states whose governors have pledged to honor the Paris climate agreement, even if President Donald Trump won’t.
Gov. Mark Dayton announced Monday that he has signed onto the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition launched last week when Trump announced that he plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. The global agreement, reached last year by 195 countries, aims to reduce the greenhouse gases emissions that are driving climate change.
The alliance is one of several movements by cities, states, corporations and nonprofits nationally to keep the promises made by the United States when it signed on last year. Altogether, they suggest that in the United States, leadership in the fight against global warming will come from local governments, academia and industry.
The alliance was formed by Governors Jay Inslee of Washington, Andrew Cuomo of New York and Edmund Brown Jr. of California — states that have their own carbon-reduction strategies. Minnesota is one of 10 additional states that signed on Monday, pledging to reduce emissions 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels.
The alliance also commits states to meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan, an Obama administration program that Trump dismantled since taking office that would have required power plants to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.
“Minnesota and other states will show the world what we can achieve by working together to conserve energy, to use cleaner and renewable energy, and to leave a livable planet to our children and grandchildren,” Dayton said in a statement Monday.
Minnesota has had a climate change strategy since the administration of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Dayton said last week that the state will continue to pursue the plan, which has greenhouse gas reduction goals that exceed those in the Paris agreement.
The U.S. Climate Alliance will also act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy.
It’s a parallel effort to one announced last week by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called America’s Pledge, which on Monday submitted a statement to the United Nations saying that more than 1,000 governors, mayors, businesses and others will honor the commitments made in the Paris accord.
In addition to California, Washington and New York, the other members of the U.S. Alliance are Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.