Cities, States Lead on Climate Action as Trump Withdraws from Paris Agreement

 State and local leaders across the country are speaking out on Trump’s short-sighted and reckless withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Trump’s decision will hurt job growth, puts our national security at risk, and harms the health and welfare of the American people and the planet. Governors of New York, California, and Washington launched the United States Climate Alliance – a group of jurisdictions that pledge to abide by the Paris Accord even if the President does not.


Dozens of mayors from across the country, led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, pledged to uphold the Paris agreement with a commitment to ramp up efforts to address climate action in their communities:


“We will continue to lead. We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks. We will increase our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice. And if the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks.


“The world cannot waitand neither will we.”        


Here’s what more than 30 mayors across the U.S. had to say about the decision:


Mayor Steve Adler – Austin, TX


Statements made on Twitter. 


“Regardless of what happens, Austin will lead on climate change because so much of what’s required happens at the local level. #Paris”


“Proud to lead with 60 fellow #ClimateMayors representing 36 million Americans to adopt goals of #ParisAgreement.”



Mayor Jesse Arreguin – Berkeley, CA


Statements made on Twitter. 


“Allowing Florida (including Mar-a-Lago) to be submerged from rising sea levels is making America great again? Who knew! #ParisAgreement”


“Unlike #covfefe, climate change is real. As a member of @ClimateMayors I have a moral obligation to invest in #ClimateAction & green jobs. d-paris-climate-agreement-goals-ba566e260097


.@POTUS says he was elected to represent Pittsburgh, not Paris. I join Pittsburgh Mayor in support of #ParisAccord.



Mayor Tom Barrett – Milwaukee, WI


“Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is reckless and irresponsible.


“In Milwaukee, we have led the way because we know that you can be pro-environment and pro-business. Being good for the environment is good business! Mayors across the country are ready to stand up and lead the way to fight climate change and we will continue to do just that in Milwaukee.” 



Mayor Megan Barry – Nashville, TN


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 1, 2017) – Mayor Megan Barry’s statement on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change: 


“The United States of America should be a global leader in addressing the dire impact of climate change on our civilization, and it is very disappointing that President Trump does not see that. As a member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, I am committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and working with corporations and citizens to do the same, even if the President is not. There's too much at stake for cities not to lead on this issue, and Nashville will.”


In 2016, Mayor Barry formed the Livable Nashville Committee, comprised of leaders from Nashville’s public, private, environmental, academic, and philanthropic sectors, and charged its members with developing a shared vision for protecting and enhancing Nashville’s livability and environmental quality. Draft recommendations, which include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, are available to review here: DRAFT.pdf



Mayor Jackie Biskupski – Salt Lake City, UT


Statement made on Twitter. 


“Proud to join 60 fellow #ClimateMayors to adopt goals of #ParisAgreement. The world cannot wait& neither will we. d-paris-climate-agreement-goals-ba566e260097



Mayor Muriel Bowser – Washington, D.C. 


Statements made on Twitter.


“In Washington, DC our commitment to fighting climate and protecting the environment is as strong as ever. #DCvalues #SustainableDC”


“In the nation's capital we will continue our progress to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. #DCvalues #SustainableDC”


“Our country should be leading the fight against climate change, it is disappointing to see us retreating into isolation. #ClimateMayors”



Mayor Luke Bronin – Hartford, CT


Statements made on Twitter. 


“Trump's decision to abandon Paris Accord is an unforgivable surrender of American leadership on one of the most important issues of our time”


“Trump's failure on climate change makes state/local efforts more important. Proud of what we're doing in #Hartford



Mayor Byron Brown – Buffalo, NY


“Climate change is a global challenge requiring immediate attention. I am proud to have signed on to the U.S. Climate Alliance and the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement. In Buffalo, we stand in solidarity with leaders from across the country in condemning President Trump’s retreat from the Paris Agreement and reaffirm our commitment to the global community fighting climate change.” 



Mayor Bob Buckhorn – Tampa, FL


“President Trump will go down as being on the wrong side of history for a number of things but pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement may be the most damaging to our future. We are a nation that prides itself on our ability to work with others to help fix some of the world’s most pressing issues and this kind of reaction is shortsighted at best. Mayors across the country should stand unified and work together from the ground up to find solutions to issues facing our cities and certainly the effects of our changing climate is one of them.”



Mayor Pete Buttigieg – South Bend, IN


Statements made on Twitter. 


“Last year's flood disaster was likely South Bend's first serious taste of climate change. More will come. Pulling out of Paris is a mistake.”


“A message to @POTUS from the generation that's going to have to deal with all this: climate could be the biggest decision you'll ever make.”


“If @POTUS decides America will no longer lead on climate, mayors will have to do the job without him. @c40cities has never mattered more.”


“This era's decisions on trade and immigration will be remembered for decades. Our decisions on climate will be remembered for centuries.”


“One of SB's best job creators is a solar company. One of SB's worst problems in 2016 was a climate disaster. All climate change is local.” 



Mayor Christopher Cabaldon – West Sacramento, CA


Statements made on Twitter. 


“Climate change=catastrophic flood risk for cities like mine. 1 reason why our city will not quit #ParisAgreement. @USMayors #climatemayors”


“#ParisAgreement, I just can't quit you. Climate change mitigation/adaption creates good-paying, American jobs. @usmayors #climatemayors”



Mayor Bill de Blasio – New York, NY


“President Trump can turn his back on the world, but the world cannot ignore the very real threat of climate change. This decision is an immoral assault on the public health, safety and security of everyone on this planet. New Yorkers are already experiencing hotter summers, more powerful storms and rising seas, which disproportionately affect already vulnerable communities. On behalf of the people of New York City, and alongside mayors across the country, I am committing to honor the goals of the Paris agreement with an Executive Order in the coming days, so our city can remain a home for generations to come.” 



Mayor Rahm Emanuel – Chicago, IL


“The President’s decision to pull out of the Paris Accord is a poor attempt to pit environmental protection and economic growth against each other.  It’s a false choice. Chicago has proven you can create jobs while reducing your carbon footprint, and we will continue to do both.  As the Trump administration pulls back we will push forward and reduce our fair share of carbon emissions in line with the Paris Accord.  The world is depending on cities in the US to take up the mantle of leadership on climate change. Chicago will happily accept that challenge.”  


In January Mayor Emanuel announced that Chicago has reduced its carbon emissions by 7% from 2010 to 2015, according to a new analysis. This reduction in greenhouse gases came at the same time Chicago saw a 25,000 person increase in its population and 12 percent growth in the region’s economy and jobs within the city. The emissions reduction, equivalent to shutting down a coal power plant for 8 months, compares to a 1 percentage increase in nationwide emissions from 2009 to 2014.   The preliminary analysis, developed by AECOM, and the first 2015 emissions inventory for any major North America city, estimated Chicago generated 30.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2015, compared to 33.3 million in 2010. On a per capita basis emissions were reduced by 8%. The most significant reductions came from the energy used in buildings and construction. Together, the energy used to power residential, commercial, and institutional buildings comprises 73% of Chicago’s greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions from this sector have been reduced by 10%.   The carbon reduction report can be found at:  



Mayor Steven Fulop – Jersey City, NJ


“We have joined w/the other city mayors across the country. Despite the president we will commit to do our part – #jerseycity”



Mayor Robert Garcia – Long Beach, CA  


“The President’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is a huge step backwards for America. I have joined mayors across the country to work towards adopting the global agreement in our cities. As a coastal city, we must fight for our future and the next generation.” 



Mayor Eric Garcetti – Los Angeles, CA


LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today led a coalition of mayors across the United States in denouncing President Trump’s decision to walk away from the Paris Climate Agreement.


“Climate change is a fact of life that people in Los Angeles and cities around the world live with every day. It is a grave threat to our health, our environment, and our economy — and it is not debatable or negotiable,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This is an urgent challenge, and it’s much bigger than one person. With the President pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, L.A. will lead by committing to the goals of the accord — and will work closely with cities across America and the world to do the same.”



Mayor Andrew Gillum – Tallahassee, FL


Statements made on Twitter. 


“As I said yesterday – Florida is the epicenter for climate change. This reckless #ParisAccord decision hits us hardest.”


“Leaving the #ParisAccord: Hurts relationship w/ allies; Discourages nations from [reducing] emissions; Abandons US efforts to combat climate change”



Mayor Michael B. Hancock – Denver, CO


“Let’s talk facts. The U.S. is among the top three largest emitters of greenhouse emissions who, combined, are responsible for more than half of global emissions. A decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement would threaten every American community’s health and safety, not to mention impact our global alliances. Disengagement and failure to act not only demonstrates a lack of leadership on climate change, but it forfeits substantial opportunities to boost GDP, create thousands of good paying clean energy jobs and improve health.” 



Mayor Sly James – Kansas City, MO


Statements made on Twitter. 


“Proud to join 60 fellow #ClimateMayors to adopt goals of #ParisAgreement. The world cannot wait& neither will we. d-paris-climate-agreement-goals-ba566e260097



Mayor Jim Kenney – Philadelphia, PA


PHILADELPHIA- Following the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement to limit warming from climate change, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced today that the City of Philadelphia is committing to meeting the internationally-agreed upon carbon emissions reduction targets in Philadelphia.


“President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement goes against the interests of Philadelphians. My administration is now committed to upholding at the local level the very same commitment made by the United States in the Paris climate agreement — to reduce carbon emissions between 26 and 28 percent by 2025.  This will ensure that we’re well on our way to meeting Philadelphia’s current long-term goal of reducing the city’s emissions 80 percent by 2050.”


With this announcement, Mayor Kenney joins at least 60 Mayors — representing 35 million Americans — as part of the Climate Mayors’ commitment to adopt, honor, and uphold the Paris agreement goal to limit warming from climate change to below two degrees Celsius. While federal leadership is critical for the United States to meet the commitments made in Paris, cities in the United States will continue to stand with global leaders on climate action.


“Philadelphia is already dealing with the consequences of climate change, such as hotter summers and heavier rain storms,” said Christine Knapp, Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia. 


“Because these changes disproportionately harm our most vulnerable residents, reducing carbon pollution is critical to achieving the Greenworks vision of a sustainable Philadelphia for all. Local progress on climate change will improve Philadelphia’s economy, reduce illnesses caused by air pollution, and help protect our residents.”


In the absence of federal leadership, the City of Philadelphia is developing and implementing strategies to slow the causes of climate change and prepare for its inevitable impacts, including:


  • Greenworks, the City’s sustainability plan that envisions a city where all Philadelphians are prepared for climate change and reduce carbon pollution.
  • The Office of Sustainability is completing a municipal Energy Master Plan and Citywide Energy Vision to identify opportunities to reduce carbon emissions from buildings and industry, which emit 79% of Philadelphia’s carbon pollution.
  • Later this year, the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems will begin work on transportation planning that promotes equity, increases safety, and reduces carbon pollution that currently accounts for 17% of Philadelphia’s emissions.
  • The citywide Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet is completing the city’s first-ever plan to dramatically reduce waste generation, the third-largest source of carbon emissions in Philadelphia.
  • In 2015, the Office of Sustainability released Growing Stronger: Toward a Climate-Ready Philadelphia, a report that identifies climate vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies within municipal government.
  • The Office of Sustainability’s Energy Office is developing and implementing energy efficiency projects at city buildings including City Hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This work reduces carbon pollution through the reduction of energy use.
  • In May 2017, the City of Philadelphia received SolSmart Gold designation from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Philadelphia Energy Authority also recently launched a Solarize program aimed at lowering the costs of solar energy deployment for all Philadelphians.


While the City is working to prevent climate change, residents can take action too. The City has put together Environment & Sustainability: City of Philadelphia Action Guides that include quick facts, ways you can help, and other resources.  These will be updated to reflect the White House decision.



Mayor Mitch Landrieu – New Orleans, LA


NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Landrieu issued a statement on President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord: 


“Climate change is a threat that affects us all, and it is a real and present danger to our coastal communities. Here in Louisiana, we face a triple threat: subsidence, coastal erosion and sea level rise. If unchecked, New Orleans, like many coastal cities, will cease to exist. The Paris Agreement remains the world’s greatest weapon to combat this existential threat. Although the Trump administration questions the facts of climate change, we must not waver. As mayors on the front lines of leadership, we need to keep our commitment to our communities and to each other, working together to transition to a low-carbon economy that not only helps manage our climate risk, but also creates new businesses, jobs, and wealth.


“One of New Orleans’ most urgent threats is climate change, and with it, more extreme heat and potential sea level rise that could engulf our city. If global temperature rises unchecked, New Orleans will not see another 300 years. Already we are seeing more coastal loss than anywhere else in the U.S. and among the fastest in the world. It is not enough to plan for how we will adapt to climate change. We must end our contribution to it.


“As the world committed to take action, New Orleans did, too. In December 2015, I stood with 464 mayors from more than 115 countries at the COP21 as we committed to combat this most existential threat of climate change in our cities. I signed the Global Covenant of Mayors on Climate and Energy, adding New Orleans to the team of more than 7,400 cities in 119 countries worldwide committed to taking climate action.


“Time is of the essence in combatting this critical existential threat, and our coastal city is on the front line. We must take action to slow climate change in coordination with cities around our nation and the world.”



Mayor Ed Lee – San Francisco, CA


Statements made on Twitter. 


“San Francisco is proof that #climateaction benefits residents & the economy. We’ve cut emissions by 28% while boosting our economy by 78%.”


“The world can continue to count on San Francisco’s leadership on #climatechange. #ParisAgreement”


“#Climatechange is real. Withdrawing from the #ParisAgreement is shortsighted & will have lasting consequences.”


“Open space is part of taking #climateaction. #SF is the 1st U.S. city where all residents live w/in a 10 min walk of a park. #parisagreement”


“#SF is committed to our progress on #climateaction regardless of the Fed Gov's shortsighted decision to withdraw from the #ParisAgreement.”


“We know #climatechange is real. We will not ignore it. #SF will continue to lead the way in #climateaction. #Cities4Climate” “San Francisco's strong economy is proof that protecting our environment is good for business. #Cities4Climate #ClimateMayors”



Mayor Mark Mitchell – Tempe, AZ


“I stand in strong opposition to President Trump’s announcement to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. This historic global agreement was a major step forward in fighting the devastating and possibly irreversible effects of global climate change. In Paris, 196 nations came together to make a substantial commitment to future generations. We cannot turn away from this promise. 


“Climate change looms as one of the largest threats to our future health, safety and security. Cities all across our nation have and will continue to take up the fight against global climate change. As part of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, Tempe’s commitment to tackling climate change remains strong. Tempe will continue the work of the Paris accord. We will fulfill our energy efficency goals and work with our local energy providers to increase the renewable energy that we create right here within our borders. Tempe will continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 


“I am convinced that making investments in a clean energy economy will create jobs and improve our environment in Arizona. I look forward to working with our residents and businesses to develop our climate action plan over the next two years; that effort is already underway and will only continue to gain momentum.”



Mayor Bill Peduto – Pittsburgh, PA


“President Trump’s decision is disastrous for our planet, for cities such as Pittsburgh, to the commitments the United States made to the rest of the world, and to our responsibility to save the globe for future generations.


“The President has made America weaker, and the world less safe.


“I’m appalled that the President used my city to justify his unacceptable decision, as most other Pittsburghers are. I was one of the nation’s mayors who went to Paris to fight for the accords, and my city, which has finally bounced back from decades of industrial carnage, will do all it can to promote its own environmental standards.


“I know cities around the nation and the world will do the same. This is not over.


“In Pittsburgh, we’ve rebuilt our economy on the future and our people, not on the past.


“We are improving the efficiency of buildings; using smart infrastructure to reduce emissions; supporting new mobility solutions like bike share, bus rapid transit, and shared rides to reduce our reliance on personal automobiles; and has world class innovation happening by the likes of the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and many industry partners.


“Pittsburgh is the example of why the Paris agreement is good for economic development: such work is good for business too. Thirteen thousand Pittsburghers are employed in the renewable energy industry, and sixty-six thousand across Pennsylvania, and renewable jobs are the largest employer in the energy industry.


“Further, Pittsburgh and other cities know that fighting climate change will not only save our planet, but save lives. Pittsburgh has been engaged in resilience planning since 2015 and climate change and extreme weather were identified as the number one shock facing us.


“Fighting for the Paris accords is my duty, and that of mayors across the United States, who are standing together in defiance of President Trump’s reckless decision. If you are a mayor and not addressing shifts in changing weather patterns or preparing for the impacts of climate change you aren’t doing your job. What is our job is preparing our cities for the future, and building opportunities and productive and safe lives for those we serve.”



Mayor Jennifer Roberts – Charlotte, NC


Statements made on Twitter. 


“With President Trump leaving the Paris Accord, it's going to be up to forward-thinking mayors and cities like Charlotte to act on climate.”


“Charlotte is already leading efforts to combat climate change, but there's still a lot we can do. #CLTCC #CLTMayor”



Mayor Greg Stanton – Phoenix, AZ


Statement made on Twitter.


“This is a disappointing and unfortunate decision that undermines American leadership around the world. And if President Trump refuses to lead, mayors will. Phoenix and many other cities across the country are prepared to sign on to the Paris Accord.


“Climate change is already harming Arizona and threatens to further stress the Colorado River, impose prolonged drought, fuel even more dangerous wildfires, and increase high temperatures. We can’t turn our backs. In Phoenix, we will continue to do our part by working toward becoming a zero-waste, carbon-neutral city by 2050.”   



Mayor Darrell Steinberg – Sacramento, CA


Statement made on Twitter.