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U.S. Mayors Sign Their Own Paris Accord

by Countable | 12.8.17

What’s the story?

Months after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, 45 U.S. mayors have signed their own agreement, vowing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Why does it matter?

The Democratic city leaders who signed the "Chicago Climate Charter" are committing to reduce their localities’ greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

The accord, which is not legally enforceable, also calls for cities, as the New York Times summarized, "to publish quarterly emissions data; to consider climate change when building infrastructure; and to take an active role in advocating climate-friendly policies."

"There is an absence of leadership out of Washington," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"As it relates to climate change, we can't afford, as leaders of our respective cities, the absence of leadership and the wrongheadedness of policy by President Trump. Can't afford it."

What do you think?

Was the President right to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement? Should the mayors respect Trump – and his voters’ – decision? Or would you like to see even more mayors sign the agreement? Contact your local mayor, hit Take Action and contact your state reps, then share your comments below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo credit: Darwel / iStockphoto)

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(64)
  • Ron
    12/08/2017
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    Adapting to climate change not only encourages innovation but also generates business for the countries that innovate the most. Even if the US government doesn't think it's a real thing, ignoring the business opportunity is letting the rest of the world leave us behind.

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  • Diane
    12/08/2017
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    Climate change is real. Reduce damage to the environment in any way possible ramp up green initiatives. Coal should be phased out ASAP. Mistake to withdraw from Paris accord.

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  • Christy
    12/08/2017
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    I’m disappointed & saddened by remarks that opine this is only a “liberal” issue. This should not and is not a right vs left issue, it’s an issue that effects ALL of us; black, white, rich, poor, Republican and Dems. Wake up people. We are in a shit storm as a country divided and blaming everyone else but yourself does not get us anywhere.

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  • Sue
    12/08/2017
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    Yes. I hope all cites & or states go in on the Paris Agreement. Just because we have a president who is unaware of climate change, we don't have to be the blind followers.

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  • Andrew
    12/08/2017
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    Correct. Act local. Out Federal Government here as failed to be leaders. We now need to rely on each other and our local leadership. “Act Local and Think Global”.

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  • Linda
    12/08/2017
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    To believe people and carbon do not affect our planet clearly shows the Trump Administration’s refusal to follow science in environmental policies. I believe greed is their motivation. Cutting the size of monuments and public lands so industry can lease for grazing, fracking, drilling, and deforestation. These actions will adversely affect our air, land, waters, and wildlife. The damage may take generations to correct, if it’s even possible.

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  • KansasTamale
    12/08/2017
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    Thank goodness some people have the sense to stand with the world. Trump is too stupid to understand what he’s doing by not standing with the rest of the countries.

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  • Leslie
    12/09/2017
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    Thank you mayors for upholding the values and ideas you people embrace instead of bowing to cooperate pressure, you just might save the world

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  • Countryfirst
    12/09/2017
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    Thank god these local government heroes are doing the right thing! Too bad we have an idiot in chief who has no clue as to climate change or the damage to the environment from fossil fuels..he and his band of crazies will do anything for MONEY!

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  • Andrew
    12/08/2017
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    Support our local political leaders. They are showing the way.

    Like (4)
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  • Tiana
    12/08/2017
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    Kudos to you Mayor Emmanuel! Glad to see my city taking the lead on this!

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  • BeStrong
    12/08/2017
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    “We” are not the equivalent of this POTUS. This is government in action for the people. Well done.

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  • Tammy
    12/09/2017
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    Good for the mayors. It is an outrage and embarrassment that we allowed a man that doesn't understand the colors to withdraw us from this - he continues to isolate us and drag us down. I hope local leaders everywhere will stand up for sensible measures regarding climate change and our world. Climate change is not just a "weather" issue it is an economic and safety matter and deserves our attention.

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  • Phyllis
    12/09/2017
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    Proud of our Mayors for keeping the faith, listening to the experts and protecting the climate.

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  • RadicalModerate
    12/08/2017
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    Climate change is the left wing “terrorism”, a control mechanism. It’s real of course but should we really be frightened by co2? No. It’s plant food. And we’ll adapt to changing planetary weather. But I do like breathing clean air, and drinking clean water. So I support environmental conservation. Also,because fossil fuels have many poisons that make carbon look like cupcakes I’d rather leave it in the ground.

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  • Darius
    12/11/2017
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    It is so obvious that The President was WRONG. Mike pence said a few days after Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate deal agreement that What we have seen is a American President put America first. Sorry Mike Pence what the entire world has seen is President Trump putting making his ideas(such a climate change not being real first) as America's Ideas. I still cannot believe Mike Pence supports President Trump and I cannot believe President Trump is in the White House.

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  • NoHedges
    12/08/2017
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    Not sure on this. I worry be are on the verges of becoming a series of nation states. But, I admire the willingness of their leadership. Only time will tell if these acts of courage will pave the way for a stronger union on be the prelude to the end of the union.

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  • Anne
    12/09/2017
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    I think it’s wonderful that these American mayors are taking a stand for such an important issue! However, it is concerning that some on this thread are so angry! We need to work together to make the best world for our children. Going back is not an option!

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  • Joshua
    12/08/2017
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    The amount of ignorance in this comment thread sickens me. The Paris Accords are a voluntary agreement, with no enforcement scheme. The payments, again voluntary, are to help poorer nations accomplish the commitments that they otherwise would not have the economic development to even attempt. How could we possibly expect billions of people to skip over decades of coal-fueled progress that we had the advantage of without giving them a hand up? And if some US cities want to set goals for themselves, why is anyone angry about that? I thought conservatives were supposed to be in favor of local solutions!

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  • Lisa
    12/09/2017
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    A 10 year study of the snow line in the Sierra Nevada mountains has shown the line to be receding. This means more rain in lower elevations. It’s not a good thing. It will affect recreation, it will lead to run off of much needed water, and more fires. Climate change is real, and it needs to be addressed now. Kudos to those mayors who can see the big picture, unlike the Trump administration who only see dollar signs. Can’t drink money. Can’t breathe money. Can’t eat money.

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