US reentry into the Paris Agreement could affect change locally

Written by on March 2, 2021

US reentry into the Paris Agreement could affect change locally

By Megan Frank

March 2, 2021

The Bruce Mansfield Power Plant burns coal to generate electricity in Beaver County. Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Climate activists have welcomed the United States back into The Paris Agreement, also known as the Paris Climate Accord. 

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The Biden administration is expected to set a tough national target for cutting fossil fuel emissions with policy changes that could also kickstart some action on the local level. 

“The Paris agreement helps our elected officials have the authority to pursue these initiatives. Our council members and our mayors all recognize the importance of implementing policies to help mitigate climate change,” says Martha Christine of the  Citizens Climate Lobby of the Lehigh Valley.

The group boasts more than 1,000 members across the region.

The nation’s reentry into the Paris Climate Accord, she says, will help local legislators pass new climate initiatives.

“Allentown, Easton and Bethlehem have all begun the process of putting in place a climate action plan. Our council members and our mayors all recognize the importance of implementing policies to help mitigate climate change,” Christine says.

Pennsylvania tops the list of fossil fuel power plants and Gov. Tom Wolf has stated that climate change is an urgent problem. 

Wolf is pushing to have the state join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that would force power plant operators to pay for their carbon emission pollution.

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