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Coalition works to bolster US climate commitments ahead of election

By Sara Schonhardt | 07/03/2024 06:36 AM EDT

Researchers say states and cities could help further slash U.S. emissions — or shore up the country’s climate progress in a potential Trump administration.

Gina McCarthy.

Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks at an “America Is All In” event in Seattle on May 23. Nataworry Photography

A group of high-profile experts and advocates is pushing President Joe Biden to adopt stronger climate commitments as the nation veers toward an uncertain election that could put former President Donald Trump back in the White House.

The pitch: Submit new emissions reduction targets to the United Nations partly based on policy proposals from cities, states and industries.

“Knowing what we know about different people on the ticket right now, it’s important to think about what different levels of government can do,” said Nathan Hultman, director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Sustainability and a former adviser to climate envoy John Kerry.

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The Center for Global Sustainability has produced an initial analysis examining how climate commitments from cities, states, businesses and academia, along with federal support, could feed a more robust national target. It’s an update of the Center’s efforts in 2017, when Trump announced he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

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