On June 1, President Donald Trump announced the US will exit the Paris climate agreement.
But 30 cities, three states, more than 80 university presidents, and over 100 companies say they will uphold the accord.
They are part of a growing group, called the United States Climate Alliance, organized by former New York City mayor and billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg.
The coalition plans to submit a plan to the United Nations that commits to greenhouse gas emission limits set by Paris, according to The New York Times. It is negotiating with the UN to form its own National Determined Contribution (NDC) – a set of emissions standards for each participating nation under the Paris Agreement – that’s accepted alongside the other 195 countries in the accord.
Founded in 2015, the Paris Agreement aims to curb climate change before the global average temperature levels reach a point that scientists say would have catastrophic and irreversible effects on the planet.
Bloomberg currently serves as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. On June 2, Bloomberg Philanthropies, his charitable organization, also pledged to donate approximately $15 million over the next two years to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Under Trump’s budget, the UN stands to lose $2 billion in funding toward climate change action programs by leaving the Paris Agreement.
Besides the US, only two other countries – Nicaragua and Syria – are not a part of the Paris accord. After Trump announced the country’s exit, he called the agreement “a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.”
The new coalition says it will do whatever it takes to maintain the US’ role in the accord.
“Americans will honor and fulfill the Paris Agreement by leading from the bottom up – and there isn’t anything Washington can do to stop us,” Bloomberg said in a press release.