In September 2018, leaders in climate action within and outside the U.S. will convene in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit. They plan to demonstrate strong ongoing commitment to exceeding the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, despite U.S. federal opposition under President Trump, and to spur greater ambition among subnational governments and the private sector. Now that the Trump Administration is working to undo the progress made under President Obama, it is more important than ever that states and cities, as well as the private sector, redouble their efforts. Since the 2016 election, many U.S. states have demonstrated leadership by establishing ever-more ambitious clean energy and electric vehicle targets through legislation and executive action; by pushing back on the Trump Administration in public forums and in the courts; and by banding together to realise greater effectiveness through collective action. The commitment of leading states, cities, and businesses alone will not be enough to achieve the rapid reductions needed to keep planetary warming to 1.5 degrees C in the absence of U.S. federal efforts. But coming after a summer of extreme weather events, the Summit represents a critical opportunity to re-energise constituencies, highlight the need for urgent and ambitious action, and bring climate change to the forefront of policy conversations across the U.S. and beyond.
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