In lieu of the nation's withdrawal from an global agreement on climate change, 50 municipal leaders from around the country, including Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, signed a charter Tuesday committing their cities to emissions reductions. "A streak that still continues, by the way".
Former President Barack Obama made an appearance at a Chicago climate event showing his support for more than 50 mayors that signed an agreement to combat climate change on Tuesday.
Obama also refrained from criticizing Trump directly.
Former President Barack Obama is expected to address mayors from around the world at a Chicago summit to discuss climate change. "We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far", Obama continued.
Technically, the US can't give notice of its departure from the non-binding agreement until November 2019 under terms agreed upon when the pact was negotiated in 2015.
"We stand shoulder to shoulder with all of the USA cities and mayors that are committed to the Paris Agreement", said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who added that Trump should listen to the mayors on the issue of climate change. Trump has attributed the economic growth to his policies, touting the number of jobs he has created and the performance of the stock market, which has reached record highs.
He says 51 mayors will sign a charter and discuss solutions including expanding access to public transportation. But the good news is that the Paris Agreement was never going to solve the climate crisis on its own.
The agreement requires the cities to track and publicly report city emissions, advocate for greater local authority and flexibility to take aggressive action on climate, and incorporate the realities of climate change and its impacts into local infrastructure and energy planning.
Obama told the audience that American voters should "make it a prerequisite" to vote for elected officials who say they are paying attention to global warming.
Obama ratified the Paris agreement in 2015, and President Trump said in June that the US would pull out of it. Syria recently said that it planned to join the accord, making the USA the only nation in the world that doesn't belong to it, which Obama said is a "difficult position to defend".
Cities from across the USA -including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington-have all said they will commit to lowering their carbon footprint and take action on their own without President Trump.
"And cities and states and businesses and universities and nonprofits have emerged as the new face of American leadership on climate change".