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Mayor Rahm Emanuel | Fran Spielman/Sun-Times file photo

Rahm slams Trump on Paris pullout, joins pledge to meet climate goals

SHARE Rahm slams Trump on Paris pullout, joins pledge to meet climate goals
SHARE Rahm slams Trump on Paris pullout, joins pledge to meet climate goals

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday renewed his criticism of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

After blasting Trump, Emanuel said he would join 30 cities, 10 states, 80 universities and more than 100 businesses pledging to meet the greenhouse gas emission targets set by the accord, just as if the agreement were still in place.

“Chicago is already 40 percent of the way toward fulfilling the Paris agreement and the goals set. And Chicago is gonna stay on that road, committed to following through and do exactly what it needs to do,” the mayor said.

“It’s both bad energy policy and, as equally important, bad for America’s leadership in the world when you couple this with what he did not do overseas in supporting and reaffirming America’s commitment on NATO and pulling out of the Asia-Pacific trade agreement. I think you’re abdicating American’s leadership.”

Several of those states had formalized their resolve to follow the Paris deal’s goals, with Washington state, New York and California announcing they had formed the U.S. Climate Alliance. It marked a direct stand against the Trump administration and a formal commitment to upholding the targets of the Paris agreement.

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe also expressed interest in joining the new pact.

Trump formally announced his decision to leave the historic international agreement Thursday after months of teasing the action. He criticized the pact as a job-killer that put the United States as an unfair advantage.

It may be years, however, before the country can formally exit the deal, but Trump said he’ll immediately halt implementation. He said he would consider re-entry if the U.S. could get a better deal.

Under the Paris agreement, negotiated during former President Barack Obama’s tenure, the United States voluntarily committed to reducing polluting emissions by 1.6 billion tons by 2025.

The Democratic governors’ new pact commits to that same goal, which requires a 26 to 28 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels.

Specific targets haven’t been set for each state. California, New York and Washington together account for about 10 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, California Gov. Jerry Brown’s office said. California is already working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030, and Brown has cast himself as Trump’s chief foil on climate policy.

Contributing: Associated Press

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