Baker urges US to stay committed to Paris climate pact

MEDFORD, MA - 4/25/2017 - Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker speaks about the filing of an act relative to the harmful distribution of sexually explicit visual material at the Boston Latin Academy in MEDFORD, MA, April 25, 2017. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff) mag_cat_trapper
Keith Bedford/Globe Staff/File
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

The governors of Massachusetts and Vermont are urging the Trump administration to maintain the nation’s commitment to the Paris climate accord of 2015, writing that “the impacts of climate change have already been felt in our states.”

“We have seen the impacts of rising sea levels, increasingly severe flooding, heat waves, droughts, and decline in snow cover,” Governor Charlie Baker and fellow Republican Governor Phil Scott of Vermont wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to Rick Perry, the US energy secretary. “These impacts threaten the people of our states and put an intense burden on our economies.”

President Trump has said he would consider backing out of the landmark agreement, which commits nearly 200 nations to lowering carbon emissions linked to global warming. Earlier this month, the White House announced it would not make a decision on the pact until June.


In their letter, Baker and Scott wrote that “maintaining this commitment and the U.S. leadership on climate change is the right action for the protection of our children, grandchildren and future generations.”

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“Our states, working individually and in multi-state efforts, have already made tremendous progress in reducing our carbon emissions,” the governors wrote. “The U.S. commitment of 26-28 percent below 2005 levels is achievable, but we need continued national leadership.”

Last fall, Baker signed an executive order that laid out an approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As of 2014, emissions had decreased 21 percent from 1990 levels.

Maddie Kilgannon can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @MaddieKilgannon.