After the announcement of the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris agreement, the EU intends to boost cooperation on climate between local communities on both sides of the Atlantic, said Tuesday Vice-President of the Commission, Maros Sefcovic, hailing the “activism” of American mayors.
“I am very optimistic about the local involvement in the United States against global warming, thanks to hundreds of mayors and business leaders and despite the federal government,” Sefcovic said Tuesday in Beijing on the sidelines of a ministerial forum on clean energy.
“In Europe, we started a fourth industrial revolution” with renewable energies, but by withdrawing from the climate agreement, “it is as if the White House wanted to return to the second industrial revolution” of the nineteenth century, Based on coal, he added.
“But if we stick to the cities (American), big companies in the United States, it is clear that they will pick up the call of modernity and a future of clean energy,” he said.
In fact, many local authorities have already taken the opposite of Donald Trump’s announcement last week by saying that they are determined to redouble their efforts to limit global warming.
The New York-based billionaire Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, has taken the lead on Friday in a coalition of dozens of mayors, governors and organizations willing to commit to reducing emissions from the United States, the second largest polluter in the world behind China.
Maros Sefcovic had already launched with Mr. Bloomberg “a global convention of mayors for climate and energy”, an international forum gathering more than 130 American cities: a cooperation that the European senior official is now looking to strengthen.
“I am a fervent supporter of local action. Look at the powers of the mayors: they are responsible for transport, air pollution, garbage management… We see in the United States that the mayors and governors have remained committed” to the climate issue, he said.
California governor Jerry Brown, head of one of the richest states in the country, is himself in Beijing this week to participate in the “Ministerial Forum on Clean Energy” where some 20 countries are represented.
“The world is not doing enough … We are headed for a disastrous future, unless we increase the tempo of our change, ” Brown said Tuesday.
Brown’s statements were in sharp contrast to the discreet appearance of US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who in a highly technical ministerial session boasted about carbon capture technologies in Texas, his home state.