Gov. Hobbs Joins Climate Alliance Advancing Paris Agreement, Green New Deal

July 18, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

Last Tuesday, Gov. Katie Hobbs announced that she signed the state onto the U.S. Climate Alliance: a Democrat-led initiative advancing the progressive energy reforms within the Paris Agreement and the Green New Deal. 

Hobbs characterized the alliance — a project of the private nonprofit United Nations Foundation — as bipartisan. The only state in the alliance with a Republican governor is Vermont.

According to their 2021 tax filing, the United Nations Foundation pulled in $86.7 million according to ProPublica, with over $281 million the previous year. It spent nearly $23.1 million on climate initiatives in that 2021 filing, and around $25.2 million in the 2020 filling. 

The alliance was founded in 2017 by the governors of California, New York, and Washington after the Trump administration withdrew from the Paris Agreement. California raised the initial funds to kickstart the alliance.

The current executive committee, elected in May, consists of all Democrats: Govs. Gavin Newsom (California), Janet Mills (Maine), Michelle Lujan Grisham (New Mexico), Kathy Hochul (New York), and Jay Inslee (Washington). 

Other Democrat-led states in the alliance are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

The territories of Guam and Puerto Rico are also in the alliance.

Express goals of the alliance concern fulfillment of the U.S. pledge to the Paris Agreement and proposals outlined by the Green New Deal. The alliance was behind recent joint efforts with the White House to decarbonize government buildings and purchase of low-carbon, American-made construction materials. In February, the alliance convened in Washington, D.C. to deliver 21 specific federal climate actions to accomplish a “net-zero future” — aka, zero carbon.

A zero carbon future includes replacement of coal, gas, and oil-based power sources with total electrification. The World Economic Forum (WEF), a globalist activist organization, defined a net zero carbon future as including decarbonized buildings, wind and solar energy reliance, and electric vehicles.

Collectively, alliance goals include reducing collective greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 26-28 percent by 2025, 50-52 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050; centering equity, environmental justice, and a “just economic transition” in all initiatives; and building a globalist accountability network between states and “the global community.” 

California leads on all fronts except one: statewide building performance standards for efficiency. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary form of GHG. The secondary GHGs are methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and the industrial gasses: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).

Alliance staff hail from a variety of high-profile progressive backgrounds within state or federal government, or climate advocacy organizations.

Casey Katims, the executive director, formerly worked as the deputy associate administrator for intergovernmental relations at the EPA, director of federal and inter-state affairs for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, senior legislative assistant for Washington Rep. Suzan DelBene, and executive assistant for Inslee when he was a congressman. 

Taryn Finnessey, managing director, formerly worked as the senior climate change specialist for Colorado and water policy analyst for Western Resource Advocates.

Andrew Sand, the policy director and formerly the senior policy advisor, formerly worked as the deputy director, assistant director, legislative liaison, and policy advisor for the Colorado Energy Office; chaired the Colorado New Energy Improvement District’s board of directors; served as chief of staff for former Colorado Sen. Gail Schwartz.

Marwa Kamel, senior policy advisor, also works as a freelance climate consultant; she formerly worked as a policy advisor to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and a consultant for the World Bank.

Mark Teschauer, senior policy advisor, formerly worked as a senior consultant for the WSP environmental consulting firm and program manager for the American Public Transportation Association.

Kareem Hammoud, senior policy analyst, formerly worked sporadically as a Yale University teaching fellow and research assistant, contractor with the Rocky Mountain Institute, and analyst for Parnassus Investments.

Kristin Igusky, programs and analysis director, formerly worked as an associate for the World Resources Institute and climate change analyst for SAIC. 

Evan Westrup, communications director and founder of Sempervirent Strategies consulting firm, formerly worked as a fellow for the German Marshall Fund, press secretary and communications director for former California Gov. Jerry Brown, and deputy press secretary for the California Department of Justice. Last year it was reported that Westrup’s consulting firm would receive $10,000 a month from a committee formed by his former boss, Brown, using the millions in leftover campaign funds. Westrup formed the firm nine months after Brown termed out, according to his LinkedIn profile; the California secretary of state’s office reflects an LLC registration for his firm occurring in January 2021. 

Nikki Burnett, senior communications associate, formerly worked as a communications officer for C40 Cities, communications fellow for the Pacific Council on International Policy, and associate with CLS Strategies. That last company is known for its manipulation and influence of foreign politics using a coordinated network of fake social media profiles and pages.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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