We Are Still In FAQ

What does President Trump’s announcement mean for U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement?
This announcement indicates that the United States will formally rescind its commitments made to reduce GHG emissions 26-28% by 2025, and will begin the process of withdrawing from the agreement in 2019. The United States cannot officially withdraw from the Paris until the day after the Presidential election in 2020. President Trump has also said he will begin the process of negotiating a better deal – it is unclear what he means by that.

What do you plan to do with the letter?
This statement is structured as an open letter, intended to clearly communicate to the administration and the international community that major subnational leaders in the United States are still committed to ambitious action on climate change, and intend to move forward with efforts to reduce carbon pollution and support the transition to a low carbon economy regardless of what the Trump Administration does regarding the Paris Agreement.

It will be hosted online and will remain open for signatures indefinitely. This statement will be a living document that represents the beginning of a new cross-sectoral effort of non-state actors to take even more ambitious action on climate change.

What is new and different about this letter/statement and the signers?
This statement reflects the broadest cross section of subnational and non-state actors yet assembled, speaking in a unified voice, and responding to the news of the first withdrawal of a country from the Paris Agreement with a commitment to continuing to pursue the transition to a low-carbon economy.

What is the message?
The message is that “We Are Still In.” Despite the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, a huge swath of subnational and non-state actors in the U.S. are forging ahead, and are committed to doing their part in helping to drive down carbon pollution and fight climate change

Who can sign this letter?
Businesses of all sizes, investors, governors, mayors, and higher education institutions.

Is there a cost to join this letter?
No. There is no cost associated with signing the letter.

How can my institution sign this letter?
Any representative with authority to sign on behalf of their institution can fill out the information at this link. Alternatively, an email may be sent to president@secondnature.org with your institution’s’ intention to participate in this statement. Please have the president/chancellor cc’d or have the message be directly from their email address for confirmation purposes.

Does signing this letter commit my institution to anything else?
No. The group will not call on any governor, CEO, mayor or university leader to participate in the Paris process in any formal way. The coalition will work towards aggregating the climate impact of these sub-national actors in the US and share them with the world.

However, Second Nature will continue to communicate to the college and university participants with coalition updates and with additional opportunities for engagement.

What is the deadline for signing on to this letter?
The coalition will accept participants on an ongoing basis. Second Nature sends updates to the coalition every day by 4:00pm and the website is updated by a third party as soon as possible.

Can we offer edits to this letter?
The letter has been refined using feedback from a number of non-state actors. At this point, we are unable to accept further edits to the letter.

Why an open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris Agreement?
Some have raised concerns that a U.S. withdrawal could undermine the entire agreement.

It is critical to show the international community that despite the Trump Administration’s decision, a sufficient number of entities, including institutions of higher education, are still committed to ambitious emissions reductions.

This is intended to give the other participants in the Paris agreement reassurance, and to communicate clearly that major parts of the country and segments of the community will do their part to honor our global commitments.

What is your plan for media and press? How can I ensure my institution can participate in press opportunities?

A press release was developed and released on June 5 at WeAreStillIn and the initiative received national press coverage. Second Nature is collecting and sharing links to campus press releases. Please send your press releases to Michele Madia and they will be posted on the Second Nature website and on social media.