Written by: Kimberly White

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has announced his plans to join the U.S. Climate Alliance.

The U.S. Climate Alliance was formed in 2017 in response to the announcement of the United States’ intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Through the Alliance, each state commits to reducing its emissions in line with the U.S. target under the Paris Agreement.

“We’ve seen lately even more evidence that there is a need for leadership on climate change. For that reason, Pennsylvania will join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 24 governors, representing over half of the U.S. population to work to implement policies that uphold the commitments our nation made in the Paris Agreement,” said Governor Wolf. “With the federal government turning its back on science and the environment, I am proud to join with states that are leading the way towards new climate solutions, and taking concrete actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. States like Pennsylvania must take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect our communities, economies, infrastructures, and environments from the risks of a warming climate.”

Over the past century, temperatures in Pennsylvania have increased by more than 1.8 °F. Warming across the state is predicted to be between 5.4 to 6.3 °F by mid-century (2041-2070).

The state also faces an increased prevalence of mosquito-borne illness. Warmer summer temperatures and moderate winters are prolonging and intensifying transmission season, which increases the risk of exposure.

By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, Governor Wolf commits to:

  • Advancing the goals of the Paris Agreement through policy and aiming to reduce Pennsylvania’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
  • Track and report progress to the global community.
  • Reduce carbon pollution by accelerating new and existing policies and promoting clean energy deployment at both a state and federal level.

The Pennsylvania Governor joins 23 other governors including Governor Phil Murphy (NJ), Governor Kate Brown (OR), and Governor David Ige (HI). Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced his plans to join the Alliance in March 2019.

With the addition of Pennsylvania, the Alliance now represents 55% of the U.S. population, 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and an $11.7 trillion economy.

In addition to his announcement regarding the Alliance, Wolf also released Pennsylvania’s Climate Action Plan. The new plan was developed by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection along with state agency partners with recommendations for government leaders, businesses, and citizens to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate.

The plan includes more than 100 actions to help achieve adaptation goals and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

“Perhaps the biggest recommendation of the Climate Action Plan is that a team effort is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Government leaders must lead by example, and businesses, farms, community organizations, and citizens can all make a difference to fight climate change.”

Header Image Credit: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf/Flickr