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Defying Trump, Jerry Brown to showcase American climate change efforts

Jamey Stillings for TIME  Flickr
Desert Sunlight Solar Farm where 8 million solar panels power 160 000 California homes

The dismay amongst Americans and people around the world continues after Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and his increased climate action isolation at last weekend's G-20 meeting.

With "The America's Pledge" initiative, Brown and Bloomberg hope to "demonstrate continued climate leadership across USA society, and that sub-national action can significantly reduce US greenhouse gas emissions at a time of limited federal leadership", according to a Wednesday press release.

Brown, Cuomo's California counterpart, said the USCA was the polar opposite of those who "bury their heads in the sand" regarding climate change - similar to the thinking behind Global Climate Action 2018, a worldwide climate-change summit Brown's office is hosting next year in San Francisco. The two will share the data at this year's United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Germany. "The American government may have pulled out of the Paris Agreement, but American society remains committed to it - and we will redouble our efforts to achieve its goals".

According to a joint press release, NGOs including the Rocky Mountain Institute and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will be tasked with compiling and quantifying data.

First announced on Monday, the legislative package includes a new programme to measure and improve air quality in California's most polluted local communities, by increasing air monitoring efforts and setting pollution-reduction requirements for local sources.

While proponents of the Paris Accord have been up in arms since Trump announced he would pull the USA out of the climate accords, the reality is that the US exit is one of more style than substance.

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"Together, we are showing the world it's possible to protect our planet while also creating good-paying jobs and growing our economies", the governor said.

Outside experts with the World Resources Institute and the Rocky Mountain Institute, two US -based non-profits, have been retained to conduct the study on current and projected emissions of "America's Pledge" affiliates.

Brown, a Democrat, and Bloomberg, a Republican-turned Independent, have both played an outsized role on the world stage when it comes to fighting global warming.

The Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute will devise a system to quantify all the Carbon dioxide commitments, before Bloomberg, Brown and other regional and business leaders present a showcase of U.S. climate commitments to the upcoming COP23 global climate summit in Bonn, Germany, later this year.

In immediate response to the Paris agreement withdrawal, hundreds of U.S. states, cities, businesses, and colleges and universities reaffirmed their support for the Paris Agreement through collaborations including the "We Are Still In" declaration, the Climate Mayors coalition of cities, the U.S. Climate Alliance group of states, and others.

But we're not letting the Trump administration off the hook.

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