By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - A group of over two-dozen mostly Democratic governors have vowed to maintain obligations under the landmark Paris climate accord, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's effort to quit the pact.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally announced the U.S.'s departure Monday, saying the paperwork required to start the one-year process has been filed with the United Nations.
The coalition of 25 governors, known as the U.S. Climate Alliance, said in a statement that they "must stand up -- once again -- to reaffirm our commitment to supporting climate action and to strongly oppose the Administration's decision to formally withdraw from the Paris Agreement."
"Our growing coalition represents more than half of the U.S. population and an $11.7 trillion economy, collectively equating to what would be the third largest national economy in the world," the alliance said in a statement released Monday.
"We have demonstrated that economic growth and climate action go hand-in-hand. Alliance states have reduced emissions faster than the rest of the country while growing per capita GDP three times as fast. Climate action is a driver of -- not a deterrent to -- innovation and economic strength.”
The coalition includes the governors of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
The governors of Maryland and Massachusetts are the alliance's sole Republicans.
Trump has repeatedly criticized the agreement, saying it is unfair to U.S. workers and businesses.
The accord seeks to fight climate change by mutual commitments to reduce carbon emissions, and Trump took the action to withdraw Washington on the first day possible under the complex rules that govern its implementation.
Nearly all of the world's countries have either signed or ratified the pact, and should the U.S. exit, it would be the sole country to do so.