Colorado joins 'climate alliance' of states fighting global warming

FILE PHOTO: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper lays out his plans for the next state legislative session at a news conference in his office at the Capitol in Denver, Colorado, U.S. on December 19, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

(Reuters) - Colorado’s governor signed an executive order on Tuesday making his state the latest to join a “climate alliance” of U.S. states and governors seeking to meet the goals of the Paris accord after President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the pact.

The order calls for Colorado to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26 percent from 2005 by 2025 and lower carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 25 percent, among other goals.

“Coloradans value clean air and clean water,” Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper said in a written statement. “Our strong economy is a reflection of how our exhilarating outdoors attracts young entrepreneurs and the talent they need for their businesses.

“The vast majority of our residents, and indeed the country, expect us to help lead the way toward a clean and affordable energy future. In this process, we no doubt can address climate change while keeping a priority on household budgets.”

California Governor Jerry Brown, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee in June announced the creation of the climate alliance, seeking to claim the mantle of U.S. leadership in fighting global warming.

In withdrawing from the 2015 Paris climate accord, Trump said its requirement to cut U.S. emission of carbon dioxide threatened millions of jobs and productivity. The Republican president said he would start a process that could last four years to withdraw from the deal..

Some manufacturers and coal companies supported the decision, saying the Paris pact was badly flawed.

“Today’s announcement puts Colorado on the growing list of states in all parts of the nation that are stepping up to fill the leadership vacuum left by President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord,” Pam Kiely, senior director of regulatory strategy for the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement reacting to the announcement.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney and Bill Trott