Momentum Builds as States and Businesses Detail Emissions Reduction Strategies
San Francisco, CA--In a full-day forum at the Global Climate Action Summit, members of the We Are Still In coalition detailed new plans to further reduce emissions in their states, businesses, and institutions. Wednesday’s event marked the first major meeting of the far-reaching, rapidly-growing and quickly-maturing coalition since its global debut at COP24 in Bonn, Germany in November 2017. Since telling the world that America was “still in,” the coalition has been hard at work to make that declaration a reality.
We Are Still In (WASI) has nearly tripled in size since its June 2017 launch. Formed in response to President Trump’s announced plan to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the coalition now numbers over 3,500 institutions across government, the private sector, faith communities and higher education institutions in all 50 states. Collectively, the members in WASI represent nearly half of the U.S. population (more than 157 million Americans) and half of the country’s GDP ($9.46 trillion).
The 3,500+ WASI membership includes
● 277+ cities and counties
● 10 states
● 344+ colleges and universities
● 2,100+ businesses and investors
● 800+ faith organizations
● 9+ Native American tribes
● 29+ cultural institutions
● 22+ health systems representing over 763 hospitals
WASI mobilized the ‘We Are Taking Action’ campaign to gather climate action plans and elicit new commitments from its members. Since April 2018, nearly 900 coalition members submitted plans and detailed 300 new commitments to increase climate action. Fifty of those new commitments are related to renewable energy and electric vehicles, and several include the intention to collaborate across sectors. Sixty members pledge to work with coalition partners on renewable energy and energy efficiency, proving the model of WASI as an accelerator for cross-sectoral collaboration.
See the results of the contribution campaign here.
NEW WASI COMMITMENTS
A sampling of new commitments is listed below.
The Secretary of Environment for the Commonwealth of Virginia announced new regulations to reduce methane emissions from fossil fuels. Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas and is often emitted as a byproduct of oil and gas exploration and transmission. Contact: Trieste Lockwood - email@example.com
Johnson Controls, with more than $30 billion in revenue annually and more than 100,000 employees around the country, announced their new science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They will join nearly 500 other large corporations who have all set targets in line with the temperature goals set out in the Paris Agreement. Contact: Fraser Energman - Fraser.Energman@jci.com
Seventh Generation has long been focused on household product sustainability. Now, with a specific greenhouse gas target for 2025, the company is committed to increasing their use of renewable energy and reducing the emissions of their transportation fleet. Contact: Brandi Thomas - firstname.lastname@example.org
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which receives more than 2 million visitors a year and has been a sustainability leader, is now committed to carbon neutrality and to the EV100 program, to increase the use of electric vehicles in their fleet. Contact: Kera Panni Abraham - email@example.com
Metrus Energy is a leader in energy efficiency financing for large retrofit and building upgrade projects at commercial, industrial, and institutional facility portfolios. Metrus Energy announced $100 million in new funding for energy efficiency projects. Contact: Bob Hinkle - firstname.lastname@example.org
Levi Strauss is committing to a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in its owned-and-operated facilities, a goal to be achieved by investing in onsite renewable energy and efficiency upgrades. Levi Strauss also committed to a 40 percent reduction in supply chain emissions to be achieved by expanding the International Finance Corporation’s Partnership for Cleaner Textiles (IFC PaCT) globally. Contact: Helga Ying - email@example.com
Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, one of the world’s leading electronic companies, committed to make their own building net-zero, and to make its fleet 100% electric and hybrid by 2030. Contact: Harry Verhaar - firstname.lastname@example.org
The America’s Pledge Phase II report released on September 12, aggregates the contributions of cities, businesses, and other subnational actors, finding that they have already delivered half of the emissions reductions required to meet America’s Paris Agreement targets. The report lays out 10 strategies--ranging from renewable energy targets to reducing methane leaks to carbon pricing initiatives to electric vehicle deployment--by which non-federal actors can reduce emissions up to 21% below 2005 levels by the year 2025. And by stretching their ambition, they can conceivably deliver up to 24% below 2005 levels by 2025.
Americans are hungry for their leaders to implement solutions to climate change. A recent poll found that 3 in 4 Americans think leaders in state, local and federal government and in the private sector are responsible for addressing climate change. Furthermore, a large majority Americans support sweeping expansion of renewables and decisive efforts to replace fossil fuels at the state and local levels. The poll was a collaboration Nexus Polling, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
We Are Still Inis the broadest cross-section of the U.S. economy ever assembled in pursuit of climate action, and the largest demonstration of continued climate leadership in the face of the federal government’s intended withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Its membership represents over $9.46 trillion of the U.S. economy and is comprised of more than 3,500 cities, states, tribes, businesses and investors, college presidents, faith and cultural institutions and health systems that are working towards the U.S. targets under the Paris Agreement.