President Trump announced last week his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords. This decision is misinformed and reckless. It ignores the overwhelming evidence that the world is getting hotter every year, and gives up our role of global leadership. Exiting the agreement aligns the U.S. with Syria and Nicaragua, the only other two countries in the world that did not commit to the Paris Accords.
Trump said “I was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” It’s worthwhile to linger on the know-nothingness of this statement for a moment. The people of Paris did not form the climate accords – world leaders did, gathered in Paris to represent the people of their nations. Pittsburgh, like all U.S. cities, will face hotter summers, refugee crises, food shortages, and other terrible effects of climate change if it is not addressed.
The ignorance of this decision and rhetoric is palpable.
So – what do we do now?
State and Local Action
With continued inaction at the federal level, it’s clear that the responsibility of meeting the challenges of climate change falls to the state and local levels of government. Several states have banded together to form the Climate Alliance, with the stated goal of acting to meet the Paris Accord carbon reductions without federal support.
Massachusetts has joined the Alliance, and Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh have issued statements rejecting Trump’s decision.
Now those statements need to turn into policy. We have a long way to go to reduce our carbon footprint in Boston to meet our climate goals. Energy efficiency, green jobs, and resiliency planning should all come to the forefront now.
One of the easiest wins for the City of Boston is to adopt Community Choice Energy. It would cost the city nothing to implement, and we will accelerate our transition to renewable energy by adopting more of it for our residents and businesses.
What You Can Do
City Council is considering this approach now.
Call Mayor Walsh (617-635- 4500) to tell him that you support Community Choice Energy, and that you consider the environment an important election year issue.
If you’re dismayed by the short-sighted withdrawal from the Paris accords, then you can still do something to resist, fight back, and help preserve the environment.