SPRINGFIELD — Surrounded by environmental advocates in the state capital’s Southwind Park, Governor JB Pritzker took executive action joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, becoming the 18th governor to uphold the environmental protections despite President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

“I ran on a bold agenda to protect our environment, help our workers thrive and build the 21st century economy our state deserves, and now I’m taking action to join the U.S. Climate Agenda and stand on the side of science and reason,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “I’m proud to join the bipartisan coalition of governors and states committed to upholding the provisions of Paris Climate Agreement. While the president is intent on taking us backwards, I will work hard every day to move our state forward. We know that climate change is real. We know it’s a threat. And we know we must act.”

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Advancing a key environmental priority, the governor officially signed on to the U.S. Climate Alliance which commits the state to the principles of the Paris Climate Agreement in order to protect Illinoisans from the damaging effects of climate change. President Trump pulled out of the international agreement on June 1, 2017.

Executive Order 2019-06 also directs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to monitor the Trump Administration’s environmental proposals and identify opportunities to protect Illinoisans from environmental harm. The executive order takes effect immediately.

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“Communities across America are facing the impacts of climate change. We need more leaders like Governor Pritzker that are committed to deploying climate solutions, promoting sustainable economic growth and creating high-quality jobs,” said Julie Cerqueira, executive director of the U.S. Climate Alliance. “We welcome the state of Illinois into the Alliance, and look forward to supporting their priorities and learning from their experience.”

“The governor's commitment to clean energy will improve public health and bring new economic opportunities and investment to Illinois,” said Jennifer Walling, president of the Illinois Environmental Council. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found that we have just 12 years to limit carbon emissions in order to keep climate change at moderate levels. Governor Pritzker's executive action commits Illinois to the goals of the U.S. Climate Alliance.”

“By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance as one of his first acts in office, Governor Pritzker is showing the world that, even though Donald Trump wants out of the clean energy economy, Illinois is all in,” said Jack Darin, director of Sierra Club Illinois. “We can and must reach these climate goals, and we know we need to do so in a way that puts our workers and disadvantaged communities first. We know Governor Pritzker shares these values and can unite Illinois in planning for the 100% clean energy future we all want, and that starts today.”

“Climate change is real and Illinoisans are already experiencing its harmful effects,” said Sen. Melinda Bush (D-31st), who chairs the Senate Energy and Environment committee. “I’m proud to stand with Gov. Pritzker in acknowledging science and taking action to preserve and protect our planet. We must make every effort to secure Illinois’ place as a leader in the green economy”

“The governor’s actions today will put Illinois at the forefront of efforts to develop and use clean energy and take concrete steps to reduct carbon emissions,” said Rep. Ann Williams (D-11th), who chairs the House Energy and Environment committee. “We must get serious about pushing back on the dangerous environmental policies of the Trump administration which have left our communities vulnerable and put the public health at risk. Today, under the leadership of Governor Pritzker, we’ve done just that.”

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