As the United States prepares to exit the Paris climate agreement under President Donald Trump, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is in New York and Connecticut to push for solutions, some at the state level, to climate change.
OLYMPIA — As the United States prepares to exit the Paris climate agreement, Gov. Jay Inslee is in New York and Connecticut this week to push for tackling climate change.
Inslee is scheduled to attend meetings and panels in New York as part of its annual “Climate Week NYC” events, as well as the Yale Climate Forum in Connecticut.
The trip comes after President Donald Trump’s June announcement that America would abandon the Paris climate agreement, a move the governor at the time called “pathetic.”
Inslee intends to send a message that “the U.S. isn’t going away just because the Trump administration isn’t taking action,” said Inslee spokeswoman Tara Lee.
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“He wants to show that the states are leading the way [on climate] in the absence of federal leadership,” she added. “That’s a theme throughout his remarks and in his meetings.”
The events began Monday morning with a panel for the Climate Group Unstoppable Force, which also featured Govs. Jerry Brown of California and David Ige of Hawaii, according to a news release from Inslee’s office.
There, Inslee “discussed efforts to fight climate change at the state level,” as well as the U.S. Climate Alliance, according to the release.
Inslee and the governors of New York and California formed that alliance after Trump signaled that the United States would leave the Paris climate agreement.
Inslee on Monday was also scheduled to meet with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and Michael Bloomberg, a U.N. special envoy and former New York mayor.
That meeting marked the governor’s second recent trip to the United Nations, where the annual U.N. General Assembly is meeting this week. Inslee in March spoke before the United Nations about — you guessed it — climate change.
Monday afternoon, the governor was to speak at the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit.
On Tuesday, Inslee is scheduled to attend the Yale Climate Forum, hosted by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The governor heads back to New York on Wednesday for a meeting of the U.S. Climate Alliance and Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, before returning to Washington state.
This week’s East Coast swing comes after the governor Saturday flew to Los Angeles for functions of the Democratic Governors Association. Inslee will become chair of the association in December.
Most of the governor’s itinerary is considered official business for either the state or the Democratic Governors Association, according to Lee. But the travel includes pockets of personal time that may include fundraising or other political meetings, she said.