In the final days of COP21, the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) urged all Parties to join in the effort to keep global warming below 1.5C. Started as an initiative of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, in its final hours HAC’s members included the US, EU, and Brazil along with the Marshall Islands and Kiribati. It was THE in group in Paris on December 12.
This week, in response to the US Supreme Court stay of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), 17 state governors announced the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future. In it, they “recognize that now is the time to embrace a bold vision of the nation’s energy future. And to do so, states are once again poised to lead. We join together, despite unique opportunities and challenges in each state, to embrace a shared vision of this future.” Interestingly, this group embraces many of the CPP’s components for achieving emissions reductions, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and integrating solar and wind generation into electricity grids.
The Accord is bipartisan, including both California and New York and Michigan and Iowa. The signing states represent around 40% of the US population. California Governor Jerry Brown (D) framed it as “governors from both parties have joined together and committed themselves to a clean energy future. Our goal is to clean up the air and protect our natural resources.” Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) said that it “provides a platform for Nevada to leverage new partnerships, gain and share knowledge and an opportunity to introduce our energy advancements to other states . . . that will allow Nevada to continue to lead the nation in renewable energy production, energy conservation, and the exportation of energy.”
High ambition indeed.