Following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, China and the European Union have pivoted to working with state leaders to curb carbon emissions.
On June 1, Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden that the U.S. would no longer participate in the Paris Climate accord, a 2015 international pact between 195 countries to reduce their carbon emissions to lessen the impact of climate change.
"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," Trump stated, according to The New York Times.
On June 2, European Council President Donald Tusk asserted that both China and the EU would intensify their collaboration to curb carbon emissions and signaled that their alliance viewed the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accord as exclusively Trump's decision, the Washington Examiner reports.
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Tusk characterized Trump's decision as "a big mistake… However, strong transatlantic ties are far more important and far more durable than the latest, unfortunate decisions of the new administration."
While Chinese and European officials have indicated that they view Trump's decision as separate from the rest of American leadership, several U.S. state leaders have proposed international collaboration to curb carbon emissions.
On June 6, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown of California met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss renewable energy. After the talks, Brown asserted that his state would work with China to address climate change.
"It's very clear [Xi] welcomes an increased role on the part of California," Brown said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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Brown added that the Chinese president "has definitely given the green light for more collaboration between China and California and, I would say, other states through this subnational-level arrangement."
On June 5, over 1,200 U.S. governors, mayors, business owners and educators signed an open letter reaffirming their commitment to the Paris accord. Among the letter's signatories was Democratic Mayor William Peduto of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
"In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities, businesses and investors, representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions," the letter stated, according to official website We Are Still In.
The signatories added that they “will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below [two degrees Celsius] and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.”