WASHINGTON — Reacting to President Donald Trump‘s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, dozens of state and local officials have vowed to lead where the president refuses to.
In an open letter Thursday, the mayors of 61 U.S. cities — from Burlington, Vermont, to Los Angeles — promised to meet commitments agreed to under the international accord, namely cutting carbon emissions in an effort to ward off the worst effects of world climate change.
” We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate purposes, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21 st century clean energy economy ,” the group of mayors wrote.
” The world cannot wait — and neither will we .”
Separately, the governors of California, New York and Washington formed a coalition to convene countries committed to taking aggressive action to combat climate change.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, a co-signer of the Climate Mayors letter, told HuffPost after Trump’s announcement that in order to meet the Paris objectives, there’s going to have to be a thoughtful, coordinated action among local leaders. He called Trump’s move a” horrible assault” on America’s commitment to reducing pollution.
” The president’s announcement is a call to greater action , not less action. It’s a call to a higher level of sensitivity , not a period for merely frustration ,” Reed mentioned.” So what should happen from this result is we should insure the severity of his decisions, because there is no Planet B .”
Reed added that he hopes states and communities across the commonwealth recognize it’s time to speed up current efforts.
” There’s enough low-hanging fruit in America’s major metros to still attain our CO2 reductions … to the tune of about 25 to 35 percentage ,” he mentioned.” And that’s worth doing .”
Also among the dozens of signers was Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who, during a press conference Wednesday, attempted to dissuade Trump from exiting the Paris pact, saying it would damage America’s reputation as an international leader and set future generations at risk.
” No is important that the president chooses, I want to make it absolutely clear to the White House and our partners worldwide that the towns of Boston won’t back up ,” he mentioned.” If the authorities concerned turns its back on the environmental issues, cities like Boston will have to step up .”
Walsh reaffirmed Boston’s 2014 commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percentage by 2050.
Other co-signers include Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas, Mayor Jackie Biskupski of Salt Lake City and Mayor William Peduto of Pittsburgh, Pa.
In a series of posts to Twitter, Pittsburgh’s mayor explosion Trump’s decision and mentioned,” It’s now up to cities to contribute .”
In a bellow with reporters Thursday, California Gov. Jerry Brown called Trump’s decision “tragic” and “insane.” And in the end it could have the opposite of its intended effect, galvanizing cities and the international community to defy Trump’s move and protect the climate, he mentioned.
” California will defy ,” Brown mentioned,” because his try is misguided .”
Shortly after Trump’s announcement, Brown, along with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, all Democrat, announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will bring together states committed to upholding the Paris Agreement.
” I am proud to stand with other governors as we make sure that the inactivity in D.C. is met by an equal army of action from the states ,” Gov. Inslee said in a statement.” Today’s announcement by the president leaves the full responsibility of climate action on states and cities throughout our commonwealth. While the president’s actions are a disgraceful rebuke to the study needed to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren, countries have been and will continue to step up .”
California, New York and Washington, which represent nearly a fifth of the U.S. population, are committed to fulfilling America’s promise under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by 26 percentage to 28 percentage below 2005 levels, the governors wrote in their announcement.
In September, former President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the G2 0 Summit in Hangzhou, China, where they fortified commitments to reduce carbon emissions by formally joining the Paris Agreement and pledged a” continued bilateral climate cooperation .” That move, along with India’s ratification of the agreement afterwards that month, demonstrated key to the agreement taking effect in November.
Surprising no one, Trump announced Thursday, at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, that he would follow through on his campaign promise by violating America’s promise to the world that it would do its part to curb world climate change. Trump’s move arrived despite the pleas of big business, state and local leaders, the fossil fuel industry he’s worked so hard to lift up, and even his own daughter.
James Brainard, the Republican mayor of Carmel, Indiana, who didn’t sign the Climate Mayors open letter, told HuffPost by phone Thursday that Trump likes to talk about greatness, but great countries take a leadership role. They recognize problems and implement these recommendations, he mentioned. They work to leave behind a clean environment for future generations. And they don’t, Brainard mentioned, align themselves with countries like Syria and Nicaragua — the only other countries outside the Paris accord.
” I think[ Trump’s] appealing to a very small percentage of the American electorate when he does this ,” he mentioned.” Not merely is it a policy misstep that’s bad for the two countries, I think it’s a political mistake as well .”
Nick Robins-Early contributed to this report . em>