Obama to Speak as World Mayors Sign Chicago Climate Charter

Obama to Speak as World Mayors Sign Chicago Climate Charter

"We met resistance every step of the way", Obama said.

"The good news is that the Paris agreement was never going to solve the climate crisis on its own".

Obama didn't mention Trump by name, saying only that the US was in an "unusual" position as the sole country to reject the Paris agreement. The Paris accords set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting the rise in average global temperatures.

While Obama stuck to talk about the environment, Emanuel placed Trump front and center at the event by pointing out he has opted the USA out of the Paris climate accords.

The Forum will precede the One Planet Summit organized by the United Nations and the World Bank, at the initiative of the French government, which will take place on the 12 and be attended by several world leaders.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said that the Chicago Charter is more than symbolic and that it will help municipal leaders track and share information on what efforts are having the most impact on reducing carbon emissions. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said city residents (AKA taxpayer) will be the victims if action isn't taken. Mancera says the city is trying to accelerate a transition to soot-free engines and procure zero-emissions buses by 2025 with an overall zero-emissions goal for most of the city by 2030.

Some mayors see climate change as a rallying cry for anti-Trump sentiment.

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"It's better to have a national government that is setting the standard rather than a bunch of individual [city] standards", Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) told Bloomberg Environment in an interview.

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The Chicago Climate Charter represents cities around the world that want to "confront climate change head-on", said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement.

Former President Obama, who signed the Paris Agreement, is scheduled to address the mayors at the summit Tuesday.

The Chicago Climate Charter itself commits mayors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal-to-or-more-than what's proposed in the Paris Agreement. They are also promising to work side by side with scientific and academic experts to find solutions.

Some mayors have specifically agreed to commitments to expand public transportation and invest in natural climate solutions such as tree canopy and vegetation.

Obama came to Chicago to support Emanuel again during the mayor's 2015 re-election campaign, and a clip from that event formed the basis of a TV commercial Emanuel ran in the days before the vote.

Obama also refrained from criticizing Trump directly. In the past few years he's introduced programs to increase the number of highly energy-efficient buildings, update city street lights with LEDs, and power public buildings with 100 percent renewable energy. "Western cities across North American are dealing with longer and harsher wild fire seasons. Thanks, Obama", he said, as the audience burst into laughter and applause.

Chicago's Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Wheat says the idea is to "fill the void" the Trump administration has left.

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