The Northeast Is Still In

One year ago today, a coalition of businesses, investors, universities, cultural institutions, faith groups, cities, states, and tribes launched the We Are Still In declaration. This declaration affirmed its signatories commitment to advancing a clean energy future, combating climate change, and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement despite President Trump’s decision to pull the support of the U.S. Today, more than 2,700 organizations have signed the declaration, including a number of NECEC Members, representing more than 127 million Americans and $6.2 trillion of the U.S. economy.

In the year since President Trump abandoned the Paris Climate agreement, endangering the country’s historic leadership on driving innovative technologies and new competitive industries, our region has stepped up in the spirit of We Are Still In to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, Connecticut recently expanded its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to require 40 percent of its energy to be sourced from renewables by 2030. And two weeks ago, Massachusetts and Rhode Island announced the selection of the first grid-scale offshore wind projects in the nation, totaling 1,200 MW of clean energy. State leadership is also seen with New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut all part of the 15 states in the US Climate Alliance, organized a year ago in response to the U.S. announcement on withdrawing from Paris. While there is still much work to be done, policies and decisions like these are ensuring that our region keeps pace with the international community despite a lack of federal leadership.

NECEC has also stepped up as a founding partner in a new conference coming to Boston this fall. Horizon18 seeks to translate climate goals into actual solutions and partnerships through a new, one-of-a-kind global solutions platform. This two-day conference, co-founded by NECEC with World Climate Ltd. and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, will bring together more than 2,000 global leaders from clean energy, business, finance, and municipal, state and national governments. Horizon18 will be an opportunity for NECEC Members as solutions providers to engage with leading customers - cities such as Boston, states in the US Climate Alliance, corporations, universities and others. As a C40 city committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, Boston is the ideal location to harness the momentum of We Are Still In and host Horizon18 to accelerate partnerships to deploy clean economy solutions. The time to act on projects to reach climate goals has never been more opportune, and we hope you’ll join us on October 10 and 11 for Horizon18.

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Peter Rothstein

Peter is the President of NECEC (Northeast Clean Energy Council and NECEC Institute)