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North American Climate Summit
07 December 2017, 02:05 | Darnell Patrick
Obama in Chicago on Tuesday for Rahm climate summit
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. The mayors signed a charter that echoes portions of the 2015 Paris agreement. 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.
According to Iran's Meteorological Organization, the country's greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 3% in the past decade and the average temperature has risen by 1.8°C since 1750, considerably higher than the global average of 1.1°C.
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.
Mayors from 51 cities including Paris, Mexico City, San Francisco and Phoenix attended the summit. Mancera says the city is trying to accelerate a transition to soot-free engines and procure zero-emissions buses by 2025 with an overall zero-emissions goal for most of the city by 2030.
Mayor Emanuel has continued to push his way forward in city sustainability and environmental protections.
Obama joined dozens of mayors meeting in Chicago. Credit Tannen Maury European Press
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The former president said that climate change should be an "obsession" for Americans and having a plan to address it, he said, should be a "prerequisite" for anyone running for office. Right now, greenhouse gas levels are down 30% in relation to 1990-levels. It also calls for them to work with scientific and academic experts to find solutions. "As it relates to climate change, we can't afford, as leaders of our respective cities, the absence of leadership and the wrongheadedness of policy by President Trump".
He explained mayors are stepping up because there's no consensus from national governments.
Obama ratified the Paris agreement in 2015, and President Trump said in June that the US would pull out of it. Syria recently said that it planned to join the accord, making the USA the only nation in the world that doesn't belong to it, which Obama said is a "difficult position to defend".
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