SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday signed an executive order for Illinois to join the U.S. Climate Alliance.
The U.S. Climate Alliance is a group of governors who commit to implementing policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The United States signed on to the Paris Agreement in 2016, but President Donald Trump withdrew in June 2017, saying the pact would hurt the U.S. economy.
Pritzker, speaking alongside environmental advocates at a news conference at Southwind Park’s Erin’s Pavilion in Springfield, said the executive order shows his administration will stand on the side of science and reason.
“We know that climate change is real. We know that it’s a threat,” he said. “I think there’s just no disputing it anymore.”
Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found that there are only 12 years left to limit carbon emissions to keep climate change at moderate levels.
“When we think about climate change and the impact, the future is alarming,” she said. “I’m very alarmed by extreme weather events, by the changes that will happen in agriculture, by the changes that will happen throughout Illinois.”
Jack Darin, director of the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, shares the concerns when it comes to climate change.
“Illinois climate scientists are already telling us that climate change is here, it’s a real threat to our farmers, to our communities, to our public health and, most importantly, to the future that we want to pass on to our children,” Darin said. “Today Gov. Pritzker is showing the world that even though (President) Donald Trump wants to take America out of the clean energy economy, Illinois wants all in.”
Illinois became the 18th state to join the Climate Alliance.