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Published: Пт, Декабря 08, 2017
Entertainment | By Alexander Flowers

Obama talks at climate change summit as mayors sign charter

Obama talks at climate change summit as mayors sign charter

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.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a number of other mayors have signed onto the Chicago Climate Charter, committing to reduce emissions.

Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee summed up the point of the meeting here this way: "You can not deny the science, and if you're not going to do something, we're going to do something". "It's designed in such a way that it's measurable".

Trump announced earlier this year that the USA would pull out of the Paris accord, which involves nations setting benchmarks to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases. The results will be shared with the public. They also agreed to meet goals similar to those in the Paris climate accord, which President Trump announced earlier this year the US would withdraw from.

His decision led many state and local leaders to vow to take action into their own hands.

Though numerous mayors who signed the agreement were from major urban centers, the gathering also included leaders of several smaller places: Missoula, Mont.; River Forest, Ill.; University City, Mo.

Though Obama avoided direct criticism of Trump, Emanuel was eager to denounce the current president, like many Americans of color whose livelihood has been choked by his administration. Among the non-U.S. mayors attending are the mayors of Montreal and Mexico City. Mayor Emanuel is joined by Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo; Mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee; Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Ángel Mancera; Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante; Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson; Mayor of Phoenix, Greg Stanton; and almost 50 Mayors from around the world for the 2-day event.

Obama was already in Chicago Tuesday for a long-planned speech to the venerable Economic Club of Chicago that is closed to the public.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said that the Chicago Charter is more than symbolic and that it will help municipal leaders track and share information on what efforts are having the most impact on reducing carbon emissions.

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"This leadership role has evolved very quickly because it has had to", Biskupski said. "Can I afford, even if we don't have a partner, to stand still and just blame him?"

The charter will succeed within American cities and states, the only thing it will have difficulty duplicating from the Paris Agreement is the aid of billions of dollars to other countries.

Obama pointed out that after his administration took steps to cut carbon emissions and signed on to the Paris climate accord "we saw the USA economy grow consistently".

Emanuel agreed. "Where there is no EPA to police the polluters, we'll police the polluters", he said. The city got a head start by closing its last two coal plants in 2012, and has retrofitted more than 54 million square feet of office building more energy efficient.

"It's better to have a national government that is setting the standard rather than a bunch of individual [city] standards", Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) told Bloomberg Environment in an interview.

"But the good news is that the Paris agreement was never going to solve the climate crisis on its own", Obama stated.

Former President Barack Obama is expected to address mayors from around the world at a Chicago summit to discuss climate change.

"Cities are stepping into the void of leadership", Mr. Emanuel said.

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