Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina has become the ninth state to protest President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the landmark Paris climate accord.
"Pulling out of the Paris Accord is wrong for our country, our children and the generations to come," Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. "North Carolina’s commitment to clean air and a healthy environment will remain a priority despite the lack of forward-thinking leadership from the current Administration."
Hundreds of U.S. cities, including Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and scores of businesses and universities have signed on to the "We Are Still In" letter in the past week, pledging to continue their efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
"In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities, businesses and investors representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions," the letter states. "Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2°C and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity and health."
In signing the letter, Cooper cited North Carolina’s tradition of working for a healthier environment and improved public health, such as implementing the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard a decade ago and working to reduce air pollution through the Clean Smokestacks Act.
California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington are the other states that have joined the initiative.