RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – Virginia on Monday became the 13th state to join an alliance spearheaded by Govs. Jerry Brown, of California, and Andrew Cuomo, of New York, to continue their drive toward fulfilling the goals of the Paris climate accord.
Brown, Cuomo and Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee established the U.S. Climate Alliance last week in response to President Donald Trump’s announcing he is pulling the United States out of the accord.
In a joint statement, the governors called Trump’s withdrawal from the multinational plan to curb carbon emissions and contain global temperature change “reckless.”
The goal of the new group is to provide the partner states with a forum to exchange ideas and strategies for preventing and mitigating the impacts attributed to man-made climate change.
The goal of the Paris accord is to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels.
On Monday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said, “President Trump’s announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement does not speak for the states and cities that are committed to fighting climate change and paving the way for a new energy economy.
“If the federal government insists on abdicating leadership on this issue, it will be up to the American people to step forward — and in Virginia we are doing just that,” McAuliffe said.
Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Oregon, and Rhode Island, all of whom have Democratic governors, have joined the alliance, and last week, Charlie Baker, of Massachusetts, and Phil Scott, of Vermont, became the first Republicans to bring their states into the group.
Puerto Rico is also a member, and Mayor Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia has also pledged to uphold the terms of the Paris accord.