The international Chicago Climate Charter launched earlier this month out of the North American Climate Summit and already cities are jumping to join it. The agreement reaffirms that cities will take actions to reduce their climate impact in accord with the goals of the Paris Agreement, including increasing use of renewable energy, despite President Donald Trump (R) pulling the US out of the agreement.
When it launched Dec. 5 more than 50 cities signed it and as of Dec. 26 Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that 67 had now signed. “While the Trump administration continues to bury their heads deeper in the sand when it comes to climate change, local leaders are confronting the challenge head-on,” Emanuel said. “I look forward to working with the growing number of mayors in cities across the country and the world to take decisive action to protect our planet and the health and safety of our residents."
The majority of mayors who signed were from US cities, including Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. The latest signatories included Fort Collins, CO; Louisville, KY; St. Paul, MN; and more. It was also signed by mayors from Canada, France, Mexico, and Tanzania.
“We are pleased to sign the Chicago Climate Charter to emphasize our commitment to leading through action by demonstrating practical solutions,” said Mayor Wade Troxell of Fort Collins. “In Fort Collins, our pragmatic approach pairs our drive to improve community vitality with realistic, measurable actions improving our future. Our climate actions since 2005 have put us halfway to our 2020 goal of reducing emissions 20 percent while growing our population and economy.”
Under the pledge the cities commit to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement and use best practices to quantify and report their emissions. The cities are already taking actions to reduce their carbon footprint through many steps, according to Emanuel’s office. They include accelerating affordable renewable energy access and investing in cleaner public transportation systems to reduce their carbon impact.
Under the pledge cities commit to take action on pushing for local, state and federal polices to reduce climate change. Cities also will partner with businesses, environmental justice groups, advocates and others to develop climate mitigation and resilience solutions.
“While the current administration continues to deny the impact of climate change, we in Beaverton understand that we must confront the truth about climate change, not hide from it,” said Mayor Denny Doyle of Beaverton, OR. “I am proud to sign the Chicago Climate Charter and work together with the growing number of global cities that understand protecting the environment and growing the economy will benefit the well-being of our residents, as well as the environment.”
This is just one of many efforts to make sure that at least parts of the US will still take actions to reduce climate change and move towards renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. For instance 14 states and Puerto Rico have joined the US Climate Alliance to commit to the Paris Agreement—and at least 10 more are interested in joining it. That’s in addition to the more than 2,500 signatories to the We Are Still in pledge, which includes, cities, towns, states, companies and more.Tweet