Two governors urge Perry to help keep U.S. in Paris climate pact

FILE PHOTO - New Secretary of Energy Rick Perry speaks during his swearing in ceremony accompanied by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) at the Executive Office in Washington, U.S., March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two Republican governors urged U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Wednesday to ensure the United States does not withdraw from a pact that requires countries around the world to lower greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to slow global warming.

Vermont Governor Philip Scott and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said a U.S. government decision to remain in the Paris climate accord would demonstrate the “leadership” necessary to help states reduce their carbon emissions.

Nearly 200 countries have signed the 2015 agreement.

“There are shared costs that need to be addressed to cut carbon pollution,” the governors wrote in a letter to Perry, a Republican former governor of Texas. “It also allows us to maintain our global economic leadership.”

An Energy Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Donald Trump suggested during last year’s election campaign that he would pull the United States out of the Paris accord. At least two meetings in which Perry and other officials were to discuss the matter this year have been canceled.

Last week, the White House said Trump would announce a decision after he returns from the May 26-27 Group of Seven summit in Italy.

Several officials close to Trump, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, have pushed for a U.S. withdrawal from the accord. Perry told a conference in New York last month that he thought the United States should “renegotiate” the agreement.

More than a dozen governors and just as many state attorneys general have urged Trump not to pull out of the agreement, as have European officials.

Reporting by Emily Flitter; Editing by Paul Simao