Press Release

Over 550 Legislators Representing 45 States Commit to State Action on the Paris Climate Agreement and Oppose Trump’s Withdrawal

June 21, 2017



NCEL Point of Contact

Taylor Anderson
Communications Director


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker, California State Senator Kevin de León, Massachusetts State Senator Michael Barrett, and over 550 state legislators from across the country issued a statement today committed to maintaining U.S. leadership on fighting climate change and adhering to the Paris Climate Agreement.

“Climate change is not a conspiracy, a hoax, or a partisan cause. Climate change is real and caused by human activity,” said Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker, who initiated the sign-on statement. “Now more than ever, in the wake of the short-sighted decision by the Federal Administration to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, it is important that state and local governments come together to strengthen our resolve to achieve the carbon pollution reductions agreed to in Paris in 2015.”

California State Senate Leader Kevin de León highlighted the importance of acting on climate for the wellbeing of future generations. “By pulling out of the landmark Paris Climate Accord, President Trump demonstrated he doesn’t have what it takes to lead the world in the face of an existential threat like climate change. Now, like-minded leaders from legislatures across the country are coming together to chart a new course for our nation, and the rest of the world.  We will continue to honor the goals set by the landmark Paris Agreement to protect the futures of our children, and our children’s children and build the clean energy economy of tomorrow,” he said.

Signed by President Barack Obama in 2016, the Paris Climate Agreement was designed to combat climate change by keeping global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius. The signers signaled their intent for their states meet the goals established in the Agreement, and in many cases, move well beyond them.

“Realizing our state-level commitments is important precisely because Paris is — and always was — intended as a foundation, not as a finish line.  After 2025, the angle of descent in carbon reductions needs to point more sharply down.  We’re intent on getting ready, because the states must lead the way,” said Massachusetts State Senator Michael Barrett.

“These state legislators are committed to continuing the United States’ leadership in working toward a clean energy economy and lessening the impacts of climate change,” said Jeff Mauk, Executive Director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. “Working together, states can continue the country’s global leadership on fighting climate change.”