ST. PAUL, Minn. – A new report released by the U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA) reveals Minnesota is “on track” to hit target emission levels set by the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the long-term goal of combatting climate change, hopes to stop the planet from warming two degrees Celsius. The agreement was first signed by former President Barack Obama, however, the lack of ratification from the Senate has caused some to question the legitimacy the agreement. Earlier this year, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would be withdrawing from the agreement.
Following Trump’s decision, Minnesota and 13 other states created the USCA to continue the environmental efforts of the agreement. Now a new report shows USCA member states are “collectively on track” to hit the U.S. targets for greenhouse gas emission levels.
Prior to withdrawal, the U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement included a 24 to 29 percent reduction below 2005 levels of emissions by 2025. The USCA reports members states are “collectively on track to meet and possibly exceed their portion of the U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement,” and have already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent from 2005 to 2015.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who was quick to add Minnesota to USCA following Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, praised the progress of the alliance.
“President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Agreement will cause very serious damage to Minnesota’s environment and economy,” Dayton said in a statement. “I am very pleased that Minnesota and other states are demonstrating to the world what we can achieve by working together to conserve energy, use cleaner and renewable energy, and leave a livable planet to our children and grandchildren.”
Earlier this month, the Trump administration met with climate ministers in Montreal, Canada causing rumors to spread that the president was considering softening his stance on the Paris Agreement. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters was quick to shoot down the rumors, telling CNN there had been “no change in the United States’ position” on the agreement.