By David Pendered
When Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced May 31 that Atlanta remains committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, despite President Trump’s decision to pull out of the accord, Reed was in a group of 187 U.S. mayors who represent some 52 million Americans.
That’s the number of mayors who announced June 1 that they intend to, “adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement,” according to a statement from the Climate Mayors organization.
Meanwhile, three governors announced June 1 the formation of the United States Climate Alliance, which is to convene U.S. states that are, “committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.” The founders are governors Jerry Brown, of California; Andrew Cuomo, of New York’ and Jay Inslee, of Washington, according to a statement on the California governor’s website.
These responses follow President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. They are in keeping with comments by former President Obama, who said cities and states will lead the effort to reduce global warming.
From Obama’s full remarks as reported by washingtonpost.com:
- “But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”
According to a statement on the White House’s website, Trump cited a desire to protect U.S. jobs:
- “No responsible leader can put the workers – and the people – of their country at this debilitating and tremendous disadvantage. The fact that the Paris deal hamstrings the United States, while empowering some of the world’s top polluting countries, should dispel any doubt as to the real reason why foreign lobbyists wish to keep our magnificent country tied up and bound down by this agreement: It’s to give their country an economic edge over the United States. That’s not going to happen while I’m President. I’m sorry.”
This is the full text of Reed’s response to Trump’s announcement:
- “The President has made a disappointing decision today to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, and by extension, global leadership. This decision isolates our country from international partners in shared, global efforts to curb climate change, and at its core is an assault on our future stability and prosperity.
- “Two years ago, I joined more than 100 mayors from around the world in Paris to demonstrate our support for the COP 21 negotiations. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry demonstrated genuine leadership as they committed the United States to actionable, meaningful and achievable goals to combat climate change and reduce harmful pollution.
- “Along with my colleagues from around the country and the world, I remain committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The City of Atlanta will intensify our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, work to cool the planet by two degrees, ramp up clean energy solutions and seek every opportunity to assert our leadership on this urgent issue.”