Nation’s Mayors Pledge Own Paris Agreement: ‘Can’t Depend on Our National Government Anymore’

Water Sign Thompson Reuters
Thompson Reuters

Mayors attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach this weekend took a tour of streets that have been raised in anticipation of rising sea levels and pledged to uphold the goals of the Paris climate change agreement that former President Barack Obama signed onto and from which President Donald Trump withdrew.

“The conference supported the Paris agreement, and according to preliminary results released Saturday morning from an ongoing nationwide survey, the vast majority of U.S. mayors want to work together and with the private sector to respond to climate change,” ABC reported on Saturday.

“There’s near unanimity in this conference that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “There may be a little bit of a disagreement about how actually to deal with it.

“If the federal government refuses to act or is just paralyzed, the cities themselves, through their mayors, are going to create a new national policy by the accumulation of our individual efforts,” said Landrieu, who is the new chairman of the conference.

“With the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accords, national policy on climate change will emerge from U.S. cities working to reduce emissions and become more resilient to rising sea levels, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at the annual U.S. Conferences of Mayors meeting in Miami Beach,” ABC reported.

“A May survey of local sustainability efforts, conducted by the conference and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, initially only included 80 mayors who hold leadership positions within the conference. It was extended to all conference members and the mayors of about 1,400 cities with populations of 30,000 or more after President Donald Trump pulled the country out of the Paris agreement,” ABC reported.

Former President Bill Clinton spoke at the conference and criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw from the the Paris accord.

“You can get out any minute, but water is going to keep rising,” Clinton said. “Politics has almost no influence on science.”

“You got to seal and deliver,” Clinton told the mayors. “Every one of you has different budgetary constraints, every one of you has different options.

“You have to find a way to do it,” Clinton said.

ABC noted that “traditional energy sources still dominate,” but the survey said more cities “could use renewable electricity if their states passed legislation.”

“[New York City Mayor Bill] de Blasio joined Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on a tour of a South Beach neighborhood where the city raised streets and installed pumps to send up to 120,000 gallons of water a minute flowing back into Biscayne Bay,” ABC reported.

“But if we don’t do it, who’s going to do it, right?” de Blasio said. “Cities and states around the country are now doing the kinds of things the national government should do.

“It’s just that we can’t depend on our national government anymore,” de Blasio said.

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