Yesterday, the President announced that he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. Under the agreement, signed by 195 nations, the U.S. had pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Despite actions from the White House, Evanston remains committed to the goals of the agreement.
Global climate action begins at the local level, and Evanston has long been a leader. Since the City Council’s unanimous decision to support participation in the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2006, Evanston has implemented two climate action plans, received a 4-STAR Community Rating as a sustainable city, and been named the U.S. Earth Hour City Capital, among other achievements.
In 2013, Evanston became one of only a few communities in the nation to achieve its commitment to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent relative to 2005 baseline levels. The City is currently evaluating its efforts to reduce emissions by 20 percent relative to 2005 baseline levels by 2016, as laid out in the 2014 Evanston Livability Plan. Still, there’s more work to be done.
As the Trump administration steps aside in the fight against climate change, it’s more important than ever that cities like Evanston lead. I’m proud to be a part of the Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of 648 city leaders representing 486 million people worldwide dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, making their communities more resilient to climate change, and regularly reporting their progress publicly.
In addition, I am proud to follow former Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl as a member of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda (Climate Mayors), a network of 92 U.S. mayors working together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting efforts for binding federal and global-level policy making. Today, I’ve joined with my Climate Mayors colleagues committing to uphold the commitments included in the Paris Agreement.
There’s no finish line when it comes to protecting the environment. As Mayor, I’m committed to continuous action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our city, encourage energy efficiency, and work toward a sustainable future for all.