Re:CAP Recommends | Can States and Cities Really Uphold the Paris Climate Deal?

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June 22, 2017

Re:CAP Recommends: Can States and Cities Really Uphold the Paris Climate Deal? by Natalie Delgadillo for Governing

The Issue: States and cities in the US want to uphold the Paris agreement, but it'll be hard to bear the burden alone. Alliances made up of states and cities from across the nation have formed that pledge to uphold the deal—the United States Climate Alliance is made up of 12 states and Puerto Rico, and the Climate Mayors brings together 323 mayors from cities across the country. While cities and states can’t do everything by themselves, committing to uphold the Paris agreement is an important step in reducing the impact of global warming.

The Takeaway: Cities and states can focus on several actions to maximize their impact in reducing the impact of climate change. Prioritizing renewable energy but enacting Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), requirements that a certain amount of energy in the state come from renewable sources, are effective in states and achieve bipartisan support. States and cities can both regulate the energy efficiency of buildings by controlling building codes, infrastructure, and investment. Carbon taxes and cap–and–trade programs both work to reduce pollution by putting a price on it, although cap–and–trade programs achieve more political support. Finally, experts predict market forces will move states towards renewable energy as they become more economically attractive industries. 

Natalie Delgadillo previously covered immigrant communities and environmental justice as a bilingual reporter at CityLab and CityLab Latino.

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