Updated (Wed., Dec. 6, 7:45 A.M.): In lieu of the nation’s withdrawal from an international 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.
Leaders attending the North American Climate Summit in Chicago this week signed a charter aligning with the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement, despite President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the accords earlier this year.
“I’m proud to represent the people of Portland’s commitment to the challenge of climate change and sign the
#ChicagoCharter with my fellow @c40cities‘ Mayors. #cities4climate #wearestillin,” Wheeler tweeted.
Portland joins a list of cities and states across the country that are acting in direct contrast — and even independence from — the Trump administration on federal matters like climate change.
“Donald Trump and his administration are attempting to take us backwards on climate change,” Wheeler said. “By signing the Chicago Climate Charter, Portland is standing up for our values and making progress despite our backwards president.”
In June, Trump announced the U.S’ withdrawal from the historic global climate agreement reached in 2015, joining only two countries, Syria and Nicaragua, in rejecting the deal. The Paris accords set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting the rise in average global temperatures.
Trump called the agreement a “draconian” international deal.
The Chicago Climate Charter, signed Tuesday, commits cities to carbon emissions reductions in line with the Paris accords. In signing the charter, cities also commit to tracking and publicly reporting city emissions.
“This Charter is a great example of how cities are working together and encouraging one another to aim higher, and it will add momentum to America’s progress fighting climate change,” said America’s Pledge Co-Chair Michael R. Bloomberg and former mayor of New York City.
“All the U.S. cities signing the charter are making commitments in support of America’s Pledge, which sends a strong signal to the world that we will keep moving forward toward our Paris goal, with or without Washington.”
Former President Barack Obama was invited to the summit and addressed the mayors, which included Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.
Wheeler’s office said it will expand initiatives that utilize technology to achieve carbon emissions reductions in the coming months and years.