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Cuomo, govs join to meet Paris accord global warming targets

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo with California Gov. Jerry

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo with California Gov. Jerry Brown, left, and former Secretary of State John Kerry in Manhattan on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. Cuomo said that a growing coalition of governors will move the United States to adhere to the Paris climate accord. Credit: Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo / Kevin P. Coughlin

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday said a growing coalition of governors will overcome an “ignorant” Trump administration to move the United States to adhere to the Paris accord to combat global warming.

President Donald Trump had pulled the United States out of the agreement three months ago.

“This federal government is the most ignorant federal government we have ever had when it comes to climate change,” Cuomo said.

He announced a growing, bipartisan coalition of governors in 15 states so far that will advance goals of the Paris accord. The accord sets strict environmental quality standards and provides incentives for businesses to invest in research and development for renewable energy. With Cuomo in Manhattan was former Secretary of State John Kerry, California Gov. Jerry Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, all Democrats.

“We will drive the change,” Brown said. “Other countries ought to listen. The United States is all in for the Paris accord . . . eventually, Washington will join us because you can’t deny science forever. You can’t deny reality.”

Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris accord in June, saying it was a bad deal for America and the new restrictions would hurt business and jobs. But he also said his administration would negotiate a better deal.

“The marketplace is not going to wait for the president,” said Kerry, who helped negotiate the Paris accord under President Barack Obama. He said Trump committed “a forfeiture of global responsibility and American legacy on issues of vital importance.”

“There is nothing that Donald Trump can do to stop us in our states in advancing these policies,” Inslee said. “There is nothing he can do.”

Cuomo also took his most direct shots at Trump by ridiculing his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.

“The idea of ‘going back to the good old days and this is going to make America great again’ — you don’t get great going backwards,” Cuomo said. “Those chapters are closed. And, by the way, what great old days? The ’50s and ’60s?”

He noted that is when air pollution clogged the skies and peoples’ lungs and water pollution was enough to contaminate and, in some cases, ignite waterways.


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