ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo joined the Democratic governors of California and Washington Wednesday to harshly criticize the Trump administration on climate change policies.
Pulling out of the 2015 Paris environmental accord has helped make the Trump administration “the most ignorant” ever on climate change, Cuomo said in a Manhattan appearance with California Gov. Jerry Brown, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, as well as former Secretary of State John Kerry.
The three Democrats are governors of a 15-state alliance formed after the president’s Paris agreement decision. The governors have pledged to abide by the 2015 deal that was signed by 195 nations.
Brown said the participating states “will drive the change on the climate debate. “Eventually, Washington will join us,’’ Brown said of the federal government.
Inslee said his state will benefit economically by sticking to the agreements.
“We’re not backing up one centimeter from Paris,’’ the Washington state governor said.
Beyond the environment, the setting put together several Democrats – Cuomo, Brown and Kerry – whose names have been tossed about in various circles as possible 2020 presidential candidates.
For his part, Kerry made Trump the key focus. Kerry said the Paris agreement, which he signed last year when he was secretary of state, left wiggle room for the United States.
“The president didn’t have to pull out. This was political. All he had to say was I want to change the targets a little bit,’’ Kerry said.
The Paris agreement is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and to keeping the global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.