Obama: Cities, states new climate change leaders


Cities will have to be the chief drivers of national climate policies in the absence of leadership from the Trump administration, according to more than 50 mayors who met in Chicago Dec. 5 to sign a pledge to reduce their emissions. "A streak that still continues, by the way".

Former President Barack Obama, who signed onto the Paris Agreement in 2015, lent his support to the mayors' actions in a speech to the North American Climate Summit on Tuesday afternoon.

Obama also refrained from criticizing Trump directly.

Job creation under both Democrat President Bill Clinton and Republican Ronald Reagan, however, was by far, larger than the gains made under Obama. "It was going to be up to all of us".

Nevertheless, Obama suggested tough environmental policies are not "job killing" as President Donald Trump argued during his roll-back of Obama-era regulations early this year.

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Technically, the US can't give notice of its departure from the non-binding agreement until November 2019 under terms agreed upon when the pact was negotiated in 2015.

Former President Barack Obama has lamented the lack of U.S. leadership in the fight against climate change and without mentioning his successor Donald Trump, who has been dismantling his administration's environmental policies, he said that the country is in a position that is "difficult to defend".

Former President Barack Obama jokingly thanked himself in a speech Tuesday while outlining the economic achievements of his administration. Leaders elsewhere have taken similar action, despite Trump's announcement earlier this year that the USA would pull out of the 2015 Paris agreement, which involves nations setting benchmarks to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases. But the good news is that the Paris Agreement was never going to solve the climate crisis on its own.

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. The agreement, modeled on the Paris agreement, commits individual cities to bringing down their carbon emissions.

Obama told the audience that American voters should "make it a prerequisite" to vote for elected officials who say they are paying attention to global warming. "Even as Washington fails to act, cities have the power and will to take decisive action to protect our planet and the health and safety of our residents". "Cities and states and businesses and universities and nonprofits have emerged as the new face of American leadership on climate change".