Since Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, more and more communities are making their own commitments to adhere to the goals of the climate accord.
12 states and Puerto Rico have created The United States Climate Alliance, a bipartisan group of states that are committed to upholding the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change within their borders.
While Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has criticized withdrawing the US from the Paris agreement, he has yet to commit the state to the Climate Alliance.
On a toasty day at Boulder’s Saturday Farmer’s Market, a small group of concerned citizens crowded into a thin slice of shade in front of the Bandshell to call on Hickenlooper to join the growing US Climate Alliance.
Micah Parkin, Executive Director of Colorado 350, and host for the event told the crowd that they’re calling on Governor Hickenlooper to make tangible his statements about taking climate change seriously by joining the Alliance.
Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones expressed her sincere intent, despite Trump’s contrary decision, to keep Boulder committed to the Paris Agreement and to pressure Hickenlooper to do the same for the whole state.
“We don’t always agree with our governor on everything, but he has said some promising things and now we need to push him to join this group. Alright. He was part of the 11 governors that urged trump not to withdraw. So now I think we go to him and say, well trump withdrew so now you need to lead. And Colorado wants to be at the front of that parade.”
Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones told KGNU’s Sarah Farley that Boulder already has a number of programs in place to curb emissions.
“We are working on carbon sequestration on our open space lands. We are working on a fossil free pilot program to help homes and businesses get off of all fossil fuels. Our awarding winning Energy Smart program to help homes and businesses become more energy efficient has served over 15,000 households in boulder county and over 4,000 businesses and we’re going strong. We are helping launch a clean energy credit union so that homes and businesses can finance these kinds of improvements that get us all off of fossil fuels, because ultimately if we want to save the planet, that’s what we need to do.”
So the affair was not all gloom and doom. The rally provided hope for the people present and a plan of action. Tables in the background provided a flat surface for people to add their names to a petition demanding Governor Hickenlooper sign the state on to the US Climate Alliance.
CU professor Phaedra Pezzullo, who was in Paris for the climate agreement negotiations as a representative of the International Environmental Communication Association, urged those gathered at the rally to be proactive in getting the Governor to join the Alliance.
“Call the governor’s office, go to the governor’s website, sign on to the petition that goes to the governor. Visit the city’s website to find out how you can make a greater impact.”
Pezzullo pointed out that Colorado’s population is the same as Norway’s and its GDP matches Israel’s.
“It makes a big difference if the state of Colorado signs on to the Paris accord. We have a lot of people and a lot of wealth. We can make a difference.”