BATON ROUGE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced plans for Louisiana to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is a bipartisan group of Governors that have committed to state-led action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Taking action to address climate change can strengthen our communities and our economy,” declared Edwards, “and I am proud to join this group of Governors in committing to uphold the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement. Together, Louisiana and other Alliance states are demonstrating that there are different ways to decarbonize and that this can be done in a way that is balanced, implementable, and effective.”

“We have been following the good work in Louisiana since the Governor’s executive order, and the Climate Alliance is proud to welcome Louisiana into this coalition,” stated Julie Cerqueira, the Executive Director of the U.S. Climate Alliance. “Alliance states have shown that climate action means economic growth and job creation with member states outperforming other states on per-capita economic output and greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and we look forward to working with Louisiana and celebrating their progress as well.”

As a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance, Louisiana will be connected with forums regarding policy development with other states working on similar issues. The Alliance will also give the state access to expertise, technical assistance, potential grant funds to develop and implement climate policy, and a seat at the table alongside other governors for conversations with the federal government about national climate policy.

With this announcement, Louisiana will become the first Gulf South state to join the Alliance. Also with the state’s addition, the Alliance’s membership now represents 57 percent of the U.S. population and 61 percent of U.S. GDP. The Alliance’s states work hand-in-hand and share expertise to develop, advance, and implement state climate policies and actions.