UNION COUNTY, NJ — Union County is taking a leadership role for the rest of the state by being the first county in New Jersey to join the We Are Still In Campaign, an environmental group that supports efforts to meet the Paris climate accord, which has been rejected by President Donald Trump.
According to the group’s website, “in December 2015, world leaders signed the first global commitment to fight climate change. The agreement succeeded because unlike past failed attempts, each country sets its own emission reduction targets and strategies. Trump’s administration undermines the fight against climate change and is far removed from the United States’s attempts to remain a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
“The effects of climate change are ever increasing and ever more problematic and in the future could have a devastating effect upon Union County and its residents,” Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen told LocalSource in a July 6 email. “This is a commitment by the Union County freeholders both to take whatever actions we can locally, to combat climate change, as well as a way to show our support for action at higher levels of government. Union County will continue to seek ways to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability.”
Union County’s application to the group was accepted in late June.
“Our application was posted on June 27, and our membership was announced shortly after,” Bergen said. “The board unanimously enacted a resolution on June 22. It is important that Union County show its support for the Paris accord, both to ‘the world’ and to our own residents.”
Mayors of eight other municipalities in New Jersey, none of which are located in Union County, have also registered for the campaign. Membership is completely free of charge; the only requirement for participation is willingness to actively fight climate change and carbon pollution.
According to the group’s website, the United States will not begin withdrawing from the Paris climate accord until 2019, and will no longer be committed to reduce its greenhouse gases by 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
Signatures will be recorded in a letter that will be sent to the administration and global community that leaders in the United States are still committed to reducing carbon pollution and supporting a low-carbon economy.