“I don’t think it’s a surprise for any of us to be here, when the president of the United States had climate change removed from the White House website,” he said.
Many references to climate change were removed from the White House site in January, as part of the routine digital turnover from one administration to the next. In April, the Environmental Protection Agency removed much of the climate change information from its website, saying in a news release that the updates were made to “reflect the approach of new leadership.”
Hawaii is one of more than 10 states that have joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition committed to upholding the Paris accord despite the federal government’s withdrawal from it. The alliance, announced by the Democratic governors of California, Washington and New York last week, also includes Minnesota, Virginia, Massachusetts and Vermont.
Those states are working parallel to a broader effort being coordinated by Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, of cities, corporations and universities that together will submit a plan to the United Nations pledging to meet the targets for the United States specified by the accord. It is unclear how exactly that submission will take place.
On Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown of California met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping of China, upstaging the White House and further suggesting the determination of some states to hew to the climate accord.
Hawaii is on the front lines of climate change, so much so that in September, President Barack Obama used it as the base from which to discuss his legacy on the issue, as well as the continued threat from rising seas, extreme weather and other byproducts of a warming planet. A report published by the Environmental Protection Agency last August named a shortage of fresh water, ocean acidification and shoreline loss as threats that the state faces as a result of climate change.
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