Illinois Politicians React to Withdrawal From Paris Agreement

On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, and Illinois politicians were quick to react to the decision.

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A year and a half ago, the world came together in Paris around the first-ever global agreement to set the world on a low-carbon course and protect the world we leave to our children.
nIt was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible. It was bold American ambition that encouraged dozens of other nations to set their sights higher as well. And what made that leadership and ambition possible was America’s private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar – industries that created some of the fastest new streams of good-paying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history.
nSimply put, the private sector already chose a low-carbon future. And for the nations that committed themselves to that future, the Paris Agreement opened the floodgates for businesses, scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale.
nThe nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.
"The President’s decision to pull out of the Paris Accord is a poor attempt to pit environmental protection and economic growth against each other. It’s a false choice. Chicago has proven you can create jobs while reducing your carbon footprint, and we will continue to do both. As the Trump administration pulls back we will push forward and reduce our fair share of carbon emissions in line with the Paris Accord. The world is depending on cities in the US to take up the mantle of leadership on climate change. Chicago will happily accept that challenge."
nIn January Mayor Emanuel announced that Chicago has reduced its carbon emissions by 7% from 2010 to 2015, according to a new analysis. This reduction in greenhouse gases came at the same time Chicago saw a 25,000 person increase in its population and 12 percent growth in the region’s economy and jobs within the city. The emissions reduction, equivalent to shutting down a coal power plant for 8 months, compares to a 1 percentage increase in nationwide emissions from 2009 to 2014.
nThe preliminary analysis, developed by AECOM, and the first 2015 emissions inventory for any major North America city, estimated Chicago generated 30.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2015, compared to 33.3 million in 2010. On a per capita basis emissions were reduced by 8%. The most significant reductions came from the energy used in buildings and construction. Together, the energy used to power residential, commercial, and institutional buildings comprises 73% of Chicago’s greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions from this sector have been reduced by 10%.
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“Pulling out of the international agreement to protect this Earth from the threat of climate change is a fateful message to our children and grandchildren. The President and his party have chosen politics over science and greed over responsibility. With this announcement, President Trump surrendered our nation's global leadership. This is not America First. This is America last when it comes to the stewardship of this planet.”
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“Climate change is one of the gravest environmental, economic and national security threats of our time, and we’re already experiencing its devastating effects in Illinois and across the country. Our military leaders have long understood that increased famine and drought caused by climate change is contributing to political instability across the globe – but it seems that our President does not. Instead of leading the way towards a more sustainable future, he is prepared to retreat from our global responsibilities and deliver yet another a self-inflicted blow to America’s credibility on the world stage by having our country join Syria and Nicaragua as the only three countries not party to this agreement. While the rest of the world moves forward with trillions of dollars of investments in clean energy jobs and technologies, America is losing its influence and our economy is being left behind.”
"President Trump can't 'cancel' the Paris Agreement, he can only ensure that the rest of the world moves forward without us. The United States has been a vital leader on climate action, but we are not in this fight alone.

n“The 194 other nations that have committed to addressing the most all-encompassing and critical global challenge we have ever faced have affirmed their intentions to continue to act to reduce the carbon pollution that is changing our climate. As a result, they will seize the jobs, economic opportunities, and improved public health that come with the transition to a low-carbon economy.

n“By abdicating our long-held position of international leadership, President Trump has opened the door to a new era of American foreign policy, one in which the terms of international discussions and negotiations are set by others. Additionally, in making this shortsighted decision, the President predictably caved to the will of ideologues who have prioritized politics over clean water, clean air, and a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. These misguided priorities will not make America great.

n“Make no mistake, President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement will cost lives here at home and around the world; it will condemn vulnerable plants and animal species to extinction; it will weaken our economic competitiveness in the global marketplace; and it will risk American national security as climate change multiplies threats and conflicts abroad. Ironically enough, I’m seeing these impacts firsthand as I tour Rocky Mountain National Park at the time of this announcement.

n“The overwhelming majority of Americans, as well as our biggest businesses, support America’s participation in the Paris Agreement and understand what it means for our nation’s continued success. It is now on every American to do their part and show the rest of the world that we stand with them in our commitment to winning this fight. The consequences of losing it are far too dire.”
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