Kukua Asamoah, GNA’s Special Correspondent in Bonn, Germany
(Courtesy, GIZ Ghana, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ghana Chamber of Mines)
Germany, Nov 13, GNA - A coalition of USA governors, mayors, business leaders and college presidents from America participating in the ongoing Climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, have conveyed their steadfast commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The members of the Coalition are taking part in the UN Climate Change conference (COP23) despite announcement by the US in June 2017, to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
Ms Mariana Panuncio-Feldman, a Senior Director, International Climate Corporation of World Wildlife Foundation, said members of the Coalition had come to Bonn, to express their commitments to do their parts and work with the rest of the world in accelerating climate actions.
“The message we are bringing is a message of hope, it is a message of action, their story is a story they want to share in the coming days, a story of what actions they are taking in the United States, what social and economic benefits are accruing to their constituencies in addition to climate ones, and what more can be done in the United States and how they want to play a part in the transformation,” Ms Panuncio-Feldman noted.
During a media briefing as part of a side-event of COP23 underway in Bonn, the Coalition, by name, Climate Alliance, noted that “the US Federal Government does not speak for Americans in these negotiations”, referring to the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Ms Panuncio-Feldman said the Coalition was playing a key role in the US climate action centre as the largest climate coalition ever built in the USA.
“It is not just about a response to what is happening in Washington. Many of these actors have been taking actions themselves for a long time.
“This coalition now represents almost 2,600 leaders across these 15 states. They include heads of American tribes, Company leaders, head of Faith congregations, college president, mayors, governors, and representing 130 million Americans, 6.2 trillion dollars of the US GDP, and over four million students in the United States.
“My hope is that as a result of the participation of USA national actors in these climate negotiations, the international community can know that they can count on the new generation of US climate leaders and they can be confidents that their actions would be supported by them,” Ms Panuncio-Feldman, indicated.
American President Donald J. Trump announced in June that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
However, the United States Government had not disclosed how its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement would actually take place.
The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016.
Meanwhile, the Paris Agreement of itself does not impose new binding obligations and mainly relies on the political willingness of States to comply with their own self-imposed Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
While the United States appeared to be set on a trajectory of its own relative to other countries having signed the Paris Agreement, regulatory divergences might also emerge domestically between American States.
On June 1, 2017, the States of California, New York and Washington formed a Climate Alliance aimed at pursuing further reductions of their GHG emissions, while California had expressed its willingness to enter into its own international climate change agreements notably with China.
The organisation of COP23, being hosted by the Fiji Republic as the Chair, is being supported by the German Government.
Delegates around the globe are hoping to ensure greater momentum for the Paris Agreement and to raise the level of ambition needed to address global warming at the two- week event.