A few months after the Trump Administration broke them up, a band of top climate scientists is getting back together, this time to study the effects of climate change at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
Earth Institute researcher Richard Moss, a former member of the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment, has led the effort to reunite the researchers, the Independent reports.
Though the team lacks the funding and influence of the federal government, other entities have stepped in to support the project. On Wednesday, for example, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York would help fund the research conducted by the shadow panel.
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“The Advisory Committee will continue its critical work without political interference and provide the guidance needed to adapt to a changing climate,” Cuomo’s office said in a statement.
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The team of laid-off scientists will complete an addendum to the National Climate Assessment released in November with a specific focus on local impacts of climate change in the US. Their previous work has explicitly identified humans as the cause of global warming in direct contradiction to the Trump Administration’s position.
While the federal government has lagged in its pursuit of solutions to delay climate change and prevent its devastating consequences, US states and NGOs have picked up some of slack.
In June, California and Hawaii became the first US states to sign climate change commitments that mirror the international Paris climate agreement.
"Our island communities lead the way when it comes to climate change impacts and policies," Hawaii Gov. David Ige said at the time. "We also need to be first when it comes to creating solutions.”
Virginia also announced its goal of becoming a climate change leader by expanding its use of solar energy and reviewing ways to limit carbon use.
Elsewhere in the world, several nations have championed innovative solutions to reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change. China has invested billions of dollars in solar energy projects, Germany has developed efficient wind farms, and Costa Rica has gone almost a year without using fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, France has framed itself as the world leader in climate change research and French President Emanuel Macron has embraced science as part of the worldwide effort to “Make Our Planet Great Again.”