Schuler quoted in Yale Environment 360 on U.S. states' banding together on climate change
Just hours after President Trump’s Rose Garden speech in June announcing plans to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the governors of three states — California, Washington, and New York — announced their remedy. They formed the U.S. Climate Alliance, and called on other states to join them in continuing to push ahead on fighting climate change.
The alliance has yet to unveil details of their joint initiatives, but the governors plan to do so at the major international climate change conference next month in Bonn, according to Chris Davis, Inslee’s senior policy advisor for climate and energy. The alliance states understand they will have to show tangible progress if they want their calls for climate action to continue to resonate in the U.S. and abroad. “Over time, if the Climate Alliance could not robustly show that we collectively are climate leaders, then all the messaging in the world would accomplish nothing,” says Reed Schuler, another senior policy advisor to Inslee.
Schuler’s resume reflects how the center of climate action has shifted to the states. Under Obama, Schuler worked for Secretary of State John Kerry and served on the U.S. negotiating team for the Paris agreement. He helped negotiate a bilateral emissions-reduction agreement with China, as well as voluntary emissions limits and financial transparency aspects of the Paris accord.
“It’s a critical time for Washington (state) and the country,” he said. “We are working hard with other states and other countries to keep the momentum up.” Trump’s decision to take the U.S. out of Paris lit a “bonfire under the governors,” says Schuler.