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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel responds to US withdrawal from Paris climate accord

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Chicago’s mayor has become a fierce critic of President Trump’s environmental policies

The South Shore Nature Sanctuary on Chicago’s South Side.
Curbed Chicago Flickr pool/urbsinhorto1837

Moments after President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement—a global pact to reduce emissions that are impacting climate change—Chicago’s mayor responded with a statement critical of the move. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has become a vocal critic of Trump’s environmental policies, released a statement declaring that Chicago will continue to take action on climate change.

In anticipation of the announcement from Trump, yesterday Mayor Emanuel released a statement calling the US withdrawal from the Paris Accord “alarming.”

“We cannot afford to ignore the consensus of 194 countries and the entire scientific community,” Emanuel said in a statement released yesterday. “Reneging on the Paris Agreement is shortsighted and does not make climate change any less real.”

Today, Emanuel denounced Trump’s move, calling it a “false choice” between job growth and environmental impact. Emanuel suggests that Chicago has proven that the two are not exclusive of one another.

“Chicago has proven [that] you can create jobs while reducing your carbon footprint, and we will continue to do both,” Emanuel said in the statement issued after Trump’s announcement to withdraw from 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.”

In 2014, Emanuel joined the mayors of several other cities to launch the City Energy Project, a plan spearheaded by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg which seeks to address the energy efficiency and waste of buildings. At the time of the City Energy Project launch, it was reported that Chicago buildings account for 71 percent of the city's green house emissions.

This past April, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the City of Chicago will transition all city-owned buildings to 100% renewable energy by 2025. Once the transition has been completed, Chicago will become the largest US city to have public buildings running entirely on renewable energy, the mayor’s office declared.