With the Trump administration putting the brakes on national climate efforts, such as the Clean Power Plan, action will shift to the states. But California is doing more than just reducing its own carbon footprint, it’s signing up cities and states around the world to commit to the same.
Capitol Public Radio ran a story yesterday on the “Under 2 MOU,” which is the memorandum that binds the coalition states to reduce greenhouse gases to under 2 degrees warming by 2100. International law students in a class I helped teach at Berkeley Law helped develop new strategies for their home country jurisdictions and were featured on the radio piece:
…Ken Alex, who oversees the organization for Jerry Brown, says the organization has little, if any, stable funding.“We’re learning, we’re building the airplane as we’re flying it,” Alex says. He notes the organization has more signatories than the Paris Agreement. “And oh by the way there are at least 10 languages.”He counts one full-time employee working on it. Instead, Under2 has largely relied on informal arrangements.For instance, a U.C. Berkeley professor who does work in Kenya helped Laikipia calculate its total emissions. Another class at Berkeley law school, made up of international students with law degrees in their home countries and taught by a former colleague of Alex’s, is scouting potential new allies.
The work of the international students is helping to identify new potential coalition partners and strategies for existing ones to follow through on their pledges. It’s a shining example of state and local leadership — around the world — at a time when our federal government appears to be moving backwards.