The mayors of 61 U.S. cities, from Burlington, Vermont, to Los Angeles, California, wrote in an open letter that “The world cannot wait – and neither will we.” The leaders of these American cities promised to meet commitments agreed to under the Paris accord to ward off the worst effects of global climate change. “We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st-century clean energy economy,” the mayors wrote.
Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed, who was a co-signer of the Climate Mayors letter, called for a careful, coordinated effort among local leaders. He said that Trump’s decision was a “terrible 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 time for merely frustration,” Reed said. “So what should happen from this result is we should see the gravity of his decisions, because there is no Planet B. There’s enough low-hanging fruit in America’s major metros to still achieve our CO₂ reductions … to the tune of about 25 to 35 percent,” he said. “And that’s worth doing.”
Boston’s Mayor, Marty Walsh, joined the chorus of leaders ready to take action, “No matter what the president decides, I want to make it absolutely clear to the White House and our partners worldwide that the city of Boston won’t back down,” he said. “If this administration turns its back on the environment, cities like Boston will have to step up.” Mayor Walsh reaffirmed Boston’s 2014 commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
Outspoken California Governor, Jerry Brown, called Trump’s decision “tragic” and “insane.” He said, “California will resist because his effort is misguided.” Brown immediately joined with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Washington Governor Jay Inslee to form the United States Climate Alliance. They will convene states committed to upholding the Paris Agreement. “I am proud to stand with other governors as we make sure that the inaction in D.C. is met by an equal force 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 nation. While the president’s actions are a shameful rebuke to the work needed to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren, states have been and will continue to step up.”
President Trump’s decision has certainly rallied local and state leadership. What do you think about the responses from mayors and governors?
Credit: Huffington Post