Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed an executive order formalizing Chicago's commitment to adopt the guidelines of the Paris Agreement on environmental protections Wednesday, an announcement that came as he took part in a meeting with leaders from around the world.
"Chicago has proven you can create jobs while reducing your carbon footprint, and we will continue to do both," Emanuel said in a statement on the order, which commits the city to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to levels equivalent to or greater than 26 to 28 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2025.
President Donald Trump declared Thursday that the U.S. would no longer be a part of the landmark 2015 accord with 196 countries, claiming the non-binding agreement imposed unfair standards on American businesses and workers.
His decision marked a major setback to worldwide efforts to combat climate change and placed the U.S. in opposition to the stance of some of the country's closest foreign allies.
"As the Trump administration pulls back we will push forward and reduce our fair share of carbon emissions in line with the Paris Accord," Emanuel said Wednesday. "The world is depending on cities in the US to take up the mantle of leadership on climate change. Chicago is accepting that challenge."
Emanuel met with several other mayors from around the world Wednesday at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' forum on global cities, where he spoke about the order.
He said he wants the city and its sister agencies to shift their electricity use to 100 percent renewable power by 2025, adding that Chicago has been a global leader on sustainability since the 2008 'Chicago Climate Action Plan' - and that he will continue to push forward on environmental protections without the White House.