Tuesday, 11 April 2017
“In the absence of a federal framework, we will continue to work with US states and cities who are demonstrating clear leadership through the Under2 Coalition, and businesses who see that the future will be about clean energy.” [The Climate Group, 1 April 2017]
On 28 March 2017 U.S. President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order titled PROMOTING ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND ECONOMIC GROWTH.
This order commences the process to roll back climate change mitigation, environmental, public health and safety regulations governing the energy and mining sectors in the USA.
Resistance was immediate……………………..
Statement from The Climate Group in response to the Energy Independence Executive Order, 28 March 2017:
US President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on March 28, aimed at making dramatic changes to the US approach on climate action. Commenting on the order, Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive, The Climate Group, said: “In the absence of a federal framework, we will continue to work with US states and cities who are demonstrating clear leadership through the Under2 Coalition, and businesses who see that the future will be about clean energy.”
Today (28 March 2017), US President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at making dramatic changes to the US approach on climate action.
Commenting on the order, Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive, The Climate Group said:
“Today’s decision to end the Climate Action Plan and review the Clean Power Plan is a major step backwards for the US.
“National policies to reduce US emissions and boost clean energy to date have helped create jobs for nearly 800,000 Americans, with another 2.2 million Americans working on energy efficiency. With the clean energy sector growing globally, and with the EU and emerging economies such as India and China all embarking on clean energy transition policies, the US should be doubling down on its current efforts, not turning back.
“This also runs counter to the leadership we’ve seen from US businesses, states and cities who are setting ambitious climate and clean energy goals, and are more committed than ever to achieving them. Just today, we have seen the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, join our RE100 campaign, committing to 100% renewable electricity across its global operations.
“Federal action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions helps safeguard the prosperity of American citizens and future generations. In the absence of a federal framework, we will continue to work with US states and cities who are demonstrating clear leadership through the Under2 Coalition, and businesses who see that the future will be about clean energy.”
UNDER2 COALITION GOVERNORS AND MAYORS ISSUE STATEMENT ON EXECUTIVE ORDER TO REVIEW THE CLEAN POWER PLAN, 28 March 2017:
The governors of California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington, and mayors of New York City, Oakland, Portland, Sacramento, and Seattle, issued the following statement on behalf of the Under2 Coalition in response to the recent Executive Order to review the Clean Power Plan:
“As United States governors and mayors, we speak with one voice against the decision to review the Clean Power Plan. As members of the Under2 Coalition, we know that the climate crisis demands global action at every level. As Washington, D.C. delays, the work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our cities and states continues. Our commitment to limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius remains. We will not waver. And we will continue to enlist like-minded cities, states, regions and countries around the world to join this fight.”
The Under2 Coalition is a global pact of 167 cities, states and countries representing more than one billion people and US$25.9 trillion in combined GDP – more than one-third of the global economy. Coalition members commit to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 2 tons per capita or 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050. The Under2 MOU was formed in 2015 by the states of California and Baden-Württemberg, Germany to mobilize and galvanize bold climate action from like-minded city, state and regional governments around the globe.
The Climate Group acts as Secretariat to the Under2 Coalition and works directly with government signatories and partners of the Under2 MOU to drive net-zero ambition and action.
U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council, 23 March 2017:
No More Bumbling—Bee Cleared for Endangered Species Listing
There are times—even today—when law and science triumph over politics.
Hard to believe, I know, but that’s exactly what happened this week when the Trump Administration backed away from its “freeze” on listing the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species.
The rusty patched bumble bee is the first bumble bee to receive endangered species protections, and for good reason. Although common across the Midwest and the East Coast as recently as the mid-90s, since then, the bee’s population has plummeted by about 90%. After studying the bee for years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service came out with a report last summer, finding it was likely to disappear from most of its remaining habitat within five years, and go completely extinct within thirty.
That’s one small step for a bee, one giant leap for common sense.
Recognizing there was no time to waste, the agency finalized a rule to list the bee as an endangered species in January. The rule was set to take effect in thirty days, but then Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States.
On day one, the Trump Administration issued an order to “freeze” or delay the effective dates of all final rules, including the rusty patched bumble bee listing. The Fish and Wildlife Service then issued a notice—just one day before the bee was scheduled to be added to the list—claiming to delay the effective date of the listing until March 21.
That’s when we sued. Because as any good government attorney knows, agencies can’t simply discard or delay final rules years in the making at the whim of the president. They must instead follow the procedure required by law, which includes fair warning of a change in policy and an opportunity for interested members of the public to weigh in. The process can sometimes be slow, but it’s designed to stop rash, baseless, or purely political decision making—like, say, suddenly stopping the listing of a critically imperilled species supported by years of scientific study and review.
Given the Trump Administration’s questionable track record on appropriate legal process, we had anticipated a fight. But then, something incredible happened—the Administration backed down and allowed the rusty patched bumble bee to get the federal endangered species protection it so desperately needs.
While it’s hard to know whether this victory for common sense will be repeated elsewhere, it’s unquestionably a win for bees everywhere—especially for the 4,000 species of native bees here in the U.S. While native bees like the rusty patched don’t always get the same attention as honey bees, they are just as important to our food and our environment, and many are just as in trouble. That’s why we’re hopeful that the protections the rusty patched bumble bee now enjoys will begin to help other bees too, chipping away at the larger bee crisis before it’s too late.
The devil, of course, is always in the details, so we’ll be watching closely as the Trump Administration starts to implement those protections. Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure—if they step out of line again, we’ll “bee” there.