Climate change: Obama regrets lack of USA leadership

Obama to Speak as World Mayors Sign Chicago Climate Charter

USA TODAY has obtained a draft of the "Chicago Charter", an agreement that at least 36 US cities are slated to sign Tuesday at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago. Under Obama the US economy grew at an average of 2.1 percent, although some quarters saw three percent growth.

One part of the Paris Agreement that big cities won't be able to duplicate: contributing billions of dollars that the US and other governments pledged to help developing countries transition to cleaner forms of energy. In June 2017, US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the agreement, causing widespread condemnation internationally and domestically. 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.

Obama spoke for about 15 minutes at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago, which was hosted by his former chief of staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D).

During the UN climate change conference in Germany last month, some 20 USA states, 110 cities and more than 1,400 businesses - which they said represented a bigger economy than any nation outside the U.S. and China - pledged to honor the commitment made in Paris.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is one of three dozen mayors expected to sign a pact tomorrow vowing their cities will do their parts to meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.


"Miami already floods on sunny days", Obama said.

In lieu of the nation's withdrawal from an worldwide 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.

Mohsen Nasseri, the head of National Climate Change Plan in the Department of Environment, evaluated the delay as positive since it provides time to examine the socioeconomic ramifications of the accord.

The meeting was attended by 51 Mayors from the US, Canada, Mexico and France, Efe news reported.

Discussions will also devise concrete actions related to UNESCO's Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change which outlines globally-agreed ethical principles that should guide decision-making and policy-making at all levels and help mobilize people to address climate change. "That said, as of now, yes, the leadership mantle on environmental sustainable policies is back at the city level". "We have to ask, 'Is there a true commitment and what's the evidence of it?' So far we haven't seen it".

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