‘We Are Still In’ Coalition Launches Campaign to Drive Wave of Local Climate Action to Deliver on America's Pledge

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Over the Earth Day weekend, the We Are Still In coalition will launch ‘We Are Taking Action’ - a multi-sector campaign to drive new and more ambitious climate action from non-federal actors across the country, ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this September.

Now numbering over 2,700 total signatories, the mayors, governors, business leaders, college & university presidents, investors and other non-federal leaders who are part of We Are Still In are encouraged to submit their own ‘contribution’ that takes new steps to address climate change while showcasing progress on existing climate actions. The ‘We Are Taking Action’ campaign aims to unlock an unprecedented amount of climate action outside the U.S. federal government as part of the coalition’s second phase of work and broader 2018 strategy. The website for the campaign will go live on Earth Day.

As the first contribution associated with the campaign, Lyft announced that it will begin offsetting the carbon emissions from all Lyft rides globally. This complements other Lyft climate efforts such as shifting customers to electric vehicles. As an example of taking climate action across sectors, Lyft also announced the launch of the Lyft Green Cities Initiative.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, McDonald’s, Mars Incorporated, Microsoft and New Belgium Brewing are among the first eleven organizations and leaders to join a newly formed We Are Still In Leaders’ Circle. The individuals of the Leaders’ Circle will take an active role in driving We Are Still In’s mission and championing the ‘We Are Taking Action’ campaign. In the coming weeks, other We Are Still In signatories will join these leaders by making early contributions as part of the campaign.

The We Are Still In coalition will launch the campaign in Dallas, Texas at Earth X - the world’s largest annual environmental event. As a sponsor to the conference, We Are Still In will convene a multi-sectoral panel of cities, businesses, and faith groups to discuss how to encourage more local, cooperative climate action. Working with networks including Climate Mayors, the We Mean Business Coalition, the U.S. Climate Alliance and others, We Are Still In will convene similar working groups and panels in key U.S. states throughout 2018 and will have a similarly diverse and broad presence at the Global Climate Action Summit in September.

Taken together, the contributions made as part of the We Are Still In campaign along with the emissions mitigation potential of thousands of distinct U.S. non-federal contributions from cities, states, businesses and others – along with specific opportunities for further action – will be quantified in a comprehensive U.S. America’s Pledge “stock take” report to be released by UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown at the Global Climate Action Summit to be held in San Francisco in September of this year. The report will feature high-impact climate actions by U.S. and international businesses, investors, cities, states and regions and their potential to be scaled up to achieve significant emissions mitigations by 2025.

We Are Still In will provide all signatories with menus of possible actions and tools needed to implement them. Potential contribution actions could include:

  • Businesses can commit to a variety of actions depending on if they are a small business or large corporation, including a 100% renewable energy commitment through the RE100 program, managed by the Climate Group.
  • Cities will be invited to commit to a number of actions and initiatives, including improving the energy efficiency and sustainability of building codes in their jurisdiction.
  • All signatories will be invited to make a “policy engagement” commitment to advocate for better climate policy locally and nationally.

Mayors, governors, and business leaders first began signing the We Are Still In declaration in June 2017 as a promise to world leaders that Americans would not retreat from the global pact to reduce emissions and stem the causes of climate change. The bipartisan coalition has since doubled in size, expanding to include over 2,700 representatives from all 50 states, spanning large and small businesses, university presidents, faith leaders, tribal leaders and cultural institutions. We Are Still In signatories represent a constituency of more than half of all Americans, and taken together, they represent $6.2 trillion, a bigger economy than any nation other than the U.S. or China.

Since launching We Are Still In, U.S. non-federal leaders have emerged as global forces for climate diplomacy. At the most recent UN climate negotiations in November 2017, non-federal actors and non-profit groups hosted the U.S. Climate Action Center to represent the large U.S. non-federal perspective at the two-week conference. These groups coordinated more than one hundred city and state elected leaders, United States senators, and business executives to meet with global counterparts and demonstrate their commitment to the Paris Agreement. This month, We Are Still In and America’s Pledge authored a joint submission to the UN Talanoa Dialogue process, which will provide formal input to the UNFCCC negotiations at this year’s climate summit to be held in Katowice, Poland in late November. Next month, We Are Still In will return to Bonn, Germany to share the launch of the ‘We Are Taking Action’ Contributions Campaign with the UN and assembled country representatives as the latest proof point demonstrating how Americans are still in and committed to taking climate action.

 

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"If the effects of wildfires and winter storms on local businesses and Oregon’s economy are any indication, we cannot stop our efforts to combat climate change," Governor Kate Brown a member of the We Are Still In Leaders’ Circle said. "Despite the decision by the White House to retreat, states, cities, and businesses across the nation remain committed to moving forward and pursuing innovative strategies that meaningfully reduce carbon emissions and support a thriving economy of the future."

“At McDonald’s we are using our scale for good to make a difference for the planet and are committed to collaborating with others to affect change beyond our company and industry,” said Francesca DeBiase, Chief Supply Chain and Sustainability Officer of McDonald's Corporation, which recently became the first restaurant company to take climate action and contribute through an approved Science Based Target. “As a member of We Are Still In’s Leadership Circle, we look forward to inviting others on this journey.”

“At Mars, we’re all in when it comes to climate action that will reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. Our corporate commitment, aligned with what science indicates is necessary, is to decrease emissions from our global value chain by 27% by 2025 and 67% by 2050,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, Chief Climate Officer, Mars, Incorporated a member of the We Are Still In Leaders’ Circle. “We’re honored to be a part of the We Are Still In's Leaders' Circle where we'll actively encourage other political stakeholders and consumer goods companies to step up commitments to high-impact climate action,"

"Today’s climate action contributions campaign is yet another affirmation that American state and local governments and businesses recognize the economic and health benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Muoio of West Palm Beach, Florida a member of the We Are Still In Leaders' Circle. "The sum total of these efforts will be unveiled to the world in September."

Steve Fechheimer, CEO at New Belgium Brewing, a member of We Are Still In’s Leader’s Circle “At New Belgium, we know that we can’t make great beer without a stable climate. We are honored to stand alongside so many tribes, businesses, cities, states and universities in the We Are Still In coalition, and energized to step up climate mitigation action in the weeks and months ahead."

"Action cannot wait. That is why Lyft joined the We Are Still In coalition and recently announced that we will offset the carbon emissions of all rides globally, as a step toward a sustainable transportation future. Lyft is proud to be part of this coalition, and we look forward to continued action by governors, mayors, business, and others to address climate change." said Sam Arons, Director of Sustainability at Lyft

“New commitments in the past year from cities, states and companies have kept the U.S. engaged in the global effort on climate action. Yet more still must be done in the next year to make progress towards the Paris climate agreement targets. Microsoft is still in, and we’re committed to continuing our progress and working with others in the Leaders Circle to drive climate action." said Michelle Patron, Director of Sustainability Policy at Microsoft Corporation.

“At Clif Bar, we’re committed to raising the bar on climate action and are honored to join the We Are Still In Leaders’ Circle. As a company of people that love the outdoors, taking action on climate is natural to who we are and how we do business.  We’re working to drive clean energy and climate solutions into our value chain by engaging our partners from field to final product – farmers and bakeries, logistics and retailers, employees, athletes and cyclists.  Now more than ever, let’s work together to start global cooling.”said Kevin Cleary, CEO at Clif Bar & Company.

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