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Paris climate accord gets Bay Area endorsement

Unanimous vote of resolution commits district to national, global initiatives seeking to fight climate change

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District's board of directors voted in San Francisco Wednesday to support the Paris climate agreement despite President Donald Trump's intention to withdraw from the accord.

The San Francisco-based district regulates air pollution from stationary sources such as industries, businesses and treatment plants in the nine-county Bay Area.

The resolution unanimously passed by the directors commits the district to joining two national or global initiatives to support the agreement to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gases.

District spokeswoman Lisa Fasano said the Bay Area agency is the first air quality district in the nation to formally join the two efforts.

One initiative is the We Are Still In movement, a coalition of U.S. mayors, governors, university leaders, businesses and investors.

It was formed shortly after Trump announced on June 1 that he will withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris agreement.

We Are Still In's more than 2,000 signers promise to continue to support the accord, "working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions."

The other initiative is the Under 2 Coalition. It is a group of 176 cities, states, provinces and nations on six continents, representing 39 percent of the global economy. The participating jurisdictions are committed to limiting global warming to an increase of no more than 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, which would require greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to no more than two metric tons per person per year by 2050.

District Deputy Executive Office Jean Roggenkamp said, "The real point is that regardless of what is happening on the national level, this board is very committed to doing our part to address climate change, reduce air pollution and collaborate with other agencies."

The counties in the district's jurisdiction are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southwestern Solano, and southern Sonoma counties.

The district's board is made up of 24 locally elected officials representing each of the counties.

Fasano said Wednesday's resolution was unanimous on the part of the approximately 22 board members present.

Bay Area mayors who have signed the We Are Still In promise include those from Alameda, Belmont, Berkeley, Brisbane, Calistoga, Cupertino, Emeryville, Fremont, Healdsburg, Larkspur, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Oakland, Palo Alto, Richmond, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San Rafael, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Sunnyvale, Union City and Windsor.

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