Obama expected to address mayors' summit on climate change

Obama expected to address mayors' summit on climate change

"It was going to be up to all of us", Obama told the gathering of mayors from around the world who were there to sign the Chicago Climate Charter.

The Paris accords set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting the rise in average global temperatures.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama (L) is greeted on stage by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (R) before speaking during the North American Climate Summit in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., December 5, 2017. "We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far", Obama continued. "It's designed in such a way that it's measurable". The results will be shared with the public.

Emanuel and other Democratic mayors are forging their own policies on climate in the wake of the Trump Administration pulling out of the Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse emissions. Under Obama the USA economy grew at an average of 2.1 percent, although some quarters saw three percent growth.

Since Trump's announcement, - whose cities collectively include about 68 million residents - have vowed to uphold the goals of Paris.

"Climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it", said Obama, who noted that his administration's effort to deal with the issue "wasn't because of some ideological notions about the environment".

Obama pointed out that after his administration took steps to cut carbon emissions and signed on to the Paris climate accord "we saw the U.S. economy grow consistently".

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Chicago is committing to electric cars and renewable energy as cities step up to fulfill an global climate change deal the US has spurned.

"This leadership role has evolved very quickly because it has had to", Biskupski said. "It was going to be up to all of us". "But in the meantime, while we're under this current administration we have to make progress and we have to have to make sure we're tracking this progress, so that we can meet these significant goals".

Chicago officials are billing the North American Climate Summit Chicago as the first of its kind in the city.

While China, India and Brazil, along with many other developing countries and wealthy nations such as the U.S. and European Union member states have recently chosen to ratify the Paris Agreement, Russia is absent from the list of backers.

Emanuel agreed. "Where there is no EPA to police the polluters, we'll police the polluters", he said.

The meeting was attended by 51 Mayors from the US, Canada, Mexico and France, Efe news reported. But the cities' mayors need to do more to address the disproportionate health burdens in their low-income and minority communities impacted by climate change, activists say. It also calls for them to work with scientific and academic experts to find solutions.

"This is only an opportunity if there is a true commitment on the part of cities", said Naomi Davis, an environmental activist with the group Blacks in Green.