Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Obama talks at climate change summit as mayors sign charter

Barack Obama in Paris Obama to Speak as World Mayors Sign Chicago Climate Charter
Dexter Carr | 07 December, 2017, 02:03

Mayors from across the country say a lack of leadership in Washington on climate change is prompting them to take action themselves.

There are many specific pledges in the charter signed today, including: investing in public transit and reducing the carbon footprint in new and existing buildings and infrastructure. Leaders elsewhere have taken similar action, despite Trump's announcement earlier this year that the US would pull out of the 2015 Paris agreement, which involves nations setting benchmarks to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases.

Speaking at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago, Obama recalled the actions his administration took to cut carbon emissions as part of the Paris climate change agreement. "It increases public health risks like catastrophic floods and a host of other challenges", Barrett said in a news release.

The former president cited a string of recent hurricanes that slammed Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas, noting that "more than two months later they are still struggling to recover". He said it was an "unusual time" with the U.S.as the only country to walk away from the Paris agreement, but it was a chance for local leaders to come together and fulfil promises the country has made. "And that's a hard position to defend", Obama said, according to The Chicago Tribune. "We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far", Obama continued.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says climate change can be solved by human action.

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"We stand shoulder to shoulder with all of the USA cities and mayors that are committed to the Paris Agreement", said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who added that Trump should listen to the mayors on the issue of climate change.

Former US President Barack Obama has spoken of his frustration that America is pulling out of the 2015 climate accord. "We just hope the president of the United States wakes up" and recognizes the importance of addressing climate change.

Obama's former White House chief of staff - and more than 50 other mayors signed a "climate charter". "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".

In lieu of the nation's withdrawal from an global agreement on climate change, 50 municipal leaders from around the country, including Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, signed a charter Tuesday committing their cities to emissions reductions. Trump has said the terms of the agreement should be more favourable to businesses and taxpayers.

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