When Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement last June, cities and states promised they’d fill the environmental vacuum. If the U.S. would no longer deliver on its commitment to lower carbon emissions 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, as the international agreement had stipulated, local leaders would. “We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed,” said former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg at the time.
A full year has passed since that commitment was broken and another was made. And while states and cities have taken climate action on the ground—banning hydrofluorocarbon pollutants (California); divesting pension funds from fossil fuel companies (New York State and several cities), and levying harsher-than-ever emissions regulations (California again)—it’s been difficult to measure their collective progress toward fulfilling the accord, which traditionally does not accept members other than countries in its ranks. So to mark the June 1 anniversary, states and cities have set themselves a new raft of green goals.