American Samoa has gone out on a limb on climate change and joined “like minded states in the United States Climate Alliance” (USAC).
In a new executive order, Governor Lolo Moliga pledges the support of the American Samoa Government of the intent of the Paris Agreement and formally joins other states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the USAC.
The same day as President Trump’s announcement to pull out of the Paris Agreement, the states of New York, California, and Washington announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance
The Alliance aims to uphold U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement, and it also says it wants to meet or exceed the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era EPA rule on power plant emissions.
As of September 20, 2017, the Alliance had 15 members including Puerto Rico before American Samoa became a member.
The governor’s executive order says that as a remote island territory, American Samoa strongly believes in the power of alliances and partnerships to address complex issues such as climate change and so has joined the USAC.
The United States was one of the original 195 countries at the conference of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015, but pulled out on orders by President Donald Trump soon after he took office.
The Governor’s executive order documents the territory’s commitment to combat climate change by systematically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving resiliency to changes in the weather.