Less than a week after President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, an alliance committed to upholding the accord has welcomed ten new members.
The U.S. Climate Alliance was formed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee.
On Monday, it was announced that Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia had all joined, making the group 13 strong.
"We welcome these 10 new members and look forward to collaborating and maintaining the momentum in the global effort to protect our planet, while jumpstarting the clean energy economy," Cuomo said.
On June 1, Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement and commence negotiations to re-enter or renegotiate a new accord. "This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States," he said at the time.
The decision has not gone down well with world leaders, environmental organizations and some business figures.
For its part, the U.S. Climate Alliance says its members will push ahead with achieving the U.S. goal of cutting emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025 compared to 2005 levels, as well as meeting or exceeding the federal Clean Power Plan's targets.
In a series of statements, the governors of the new members were keen to stress their commitment to the environment.
"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," Terry McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia, said.
"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," he added.
"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."