Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Mayors Denounce President Trump’s Withdrawal from Paris Agreement on Climate Change
Chicago, June 2, 2017 – The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (Cities Initiative), a coalition representing 130 United States and Canadian mayors and their communities of over 17 million people, strongly denounce the decision of President Trump to back out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The decision is short sighted, ill advised, and not in the best interests of the people of the United States, Canada, or the world. With climate change posing one of the greatest threats to the planet and its water, it is unacceptable for the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions not to participate in this global effort.
“The Paris Agreement, a historic diplomatic success, expresses an unprecedented willingness of the international community to put the world on the path to more sustainable development,” said Chair of the Cities Initiative Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal, a leader in other global metropolitan organizations in the fight against climate change. “Cities have played a crucial role in the success of the Paris Conference, affirming the determination of municipal and regional authorities to act together to fight climate change. The declaration of the President of the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement breeds consternation in the major cities of the world. In spite of this setback, though, cities shall not give up, and are conscious of fully meeting their responsibilities. Cities will remain at the forefront of the fight against climate change, and will continue to ensure constant leadership to maintain the impetus given by the Paris Agreement.”
“With a total lack of leadership in Washington on this issue, cities are prepared to step forward with states, provinces, business, organizations, and all who are willing to take on the greatest challenge to our future,” added Mayor Paul Dyster of Niagara Falls, NY, Vice Chair of the organization. “We are already implementing many measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the many changes already occurring, and becoming more resilient to the changes that are just around the corner.”
The Secretary and Treasurer of the organization, Mayor Sandra Cooper of the Town of Collingwood, Ontario, said, “These dangers from climate change are clear and present in the streets of our cities today, and we do not have the luxury of abandoning our responsibility to deal with them. We will step up and step forward.”
“This action by the Trump administration confirms a total lack of understanding and appreciation for the magnitude of the challenge presented by climate change,” added Executive Director of the Cities Initiative David Ullrich, “The future economic well-being and quality of life of our region depend on our collective efforts to solve this problem.”