PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. cities, states and businesses can fulfil commitments made by the United States under the Paris climate change agreement even though the U.S. has withdrawn from the pact, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said in Paris.
"Americans don't need Washington to meet our Paris commitments, and Americans are not going to let Washington stand in the way of fulfilling it," Bloomberg said following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Friday.
Bloomberg, who is the U.N. Secretary-General's special envoy for Cities and Climate Change, said the United States has led the world on emission reductions over the past decade. Those efforts had been led by citizens and cities, he added, not the federal government, aided by market forces that have made solar and wind energy cheaper than coal.
"I want the world to know that the U.S. will meet its Paris commitments and that through partnerships among cities, states and businesses we will seek to remain part of the Paris agreement process," Bloomberg said.
He said he would notify the U.N. Secretary General and the climate change secretariat that U.S. cities, states, businesses and others will aim to meet the United States' commitment to reducing emissions 26 percent below the 2005 levels by 2025.
"We are already halfway there and we can accelerate our process further even without any support from Washington," Bloomberg said.
He said his own foundation will help coordinate the U.S. effort, which will be called America's Pledge, and it will help submit "nationally determined contributions" like other nations.
The foundation will provide the $15 million commitment the U.N. climate change secretariat will lose from Washington to ensure there is no disruption in their work, he said. It will also help fulfil the Paris agreement reporting requirements so that the world can track the United States' progress.
Macron, in a joint news conference with Bloomberg and Hidalgo, said the Paris climate pact is irreversible despite U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from it.
"The Paris agreement is irreversible and will be implemented because it is our responsibility," he said.
He added that China, Russia and India had confirmed their commitment to it.
"Yesterday, the government of a great nation renounced its climate obligations, but a nation is not only its government," Macron said. "Other actors -- political and economical and civil -- have stood up, and thousands of promising initiatives are being taken. We will support them and fight on their side."
Reporting by Geert De Clercq and Yann Le Guernigou; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Catherine Evans