RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WVEC) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is joining a coalition of 11 other governors who say they are committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
McAuliffe said on Monday that Virginia is joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, despite President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the federal government.
"As the first state in the Trump era to take executive action to limit carbon emissions and create clean energy jobs, Virginia is proud to join the Climate Alliance. President Trump's announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement does not speak for the states and cities that are committed to fighting climate change and paving the way for a new energy economy. If the federal government insists on abdicating leadership on this issue, it will be up to the American people to step forward -- and in Virginia we are doing just that."
In addition to Virginia, other states joining the alliance include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
The U.S. Climate Alliance is committed to reducing the United States emissions 26-28 percent from 2005's levels. It also hopes to implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions.
McAuliffe, a Democrat, recently announced plans to regulate and cap carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in Virginia fired by fossil fuels.
According to The Solar Foundation, as of 2017 Virginia is the first in the Southeast for corporate clean energy procurement.