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US cities, states and companies commit to Paris climate accord

A group of American governors, mayors and companies have express support for the Paris Climate Agreement despite US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the global accord to fight climate change.

The group, which includes three governors, 30 mayors, more than 100 businesses and more than 80 university presidents, is negotiating with the UN to have its submission accepted alongside contributions to the Paris climate deal by other countries.

It was unclear how, however, how the unnamed group would have its submission accepted by the United Nations. There was currently no formal mechanism for entities that were not nations to be full parties to the Paris climate accord.

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is coordinating the climate effort, has promised to allocate $15 million to support the Paris agreement.

“We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed,” Bloomberg said in an interview with The New York Times.

The action was a swift rebuttal to Trump, who has defended his widely criticized decision. Speaking at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday, Trump said he was withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, a move that would have profound effects on the planet and deepen a rift with American allies.

Yet, the weight of the US federal government will not be replaced by actions of governors and mayors, especially since 33 states are run by Republican governors and Republican-dominated legislatures that are reluctant to drive up energy costs to speed up a transition from fossil fuels.

However, states and cities can reduce emissions in many ways, including negotiating contracts with local utilities to supply greater amounts of renewable energy.