Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday filed an Executive Order formalizing Chicago’s commitment to adopt the guidelines of the Paris Agreement after President Trump withdrew the United States, reneging on a consensus with 196 countries on environment protections.
"Chicago has proven you can create jobs while reducing your carbon footprint, and we will continue to do both,” Mayor Emanuel said. “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 is accepting that challenge."
The Executive Order doubles down on the Paris Agreement’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Mayor Emanuel’s Executive Order commits the City of Chicago to the goal of reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions to levels equivalent to or greater 26-28 percent reduction from 2005 levels to 2025, which is the original commitment made by the Obama Administration as part of the United States’ commitment to the Paris Accord.
It also requires City departments to work jointly on and accelerate the development of policies and strategies that will assist Chicago in meeting the goal and order departments to develop and implement standards, policies and practices. The Mayor's Office will seek input from Sister Agencies, environmental advocates, environmental justice groups, community organizations, scientific experts, other cities, state actors, and the business community on efforts to collectively reduce Chicago’s greenhouse gas emissions and protect Chicagoans from the resulting effects of a changing climate.
"More than 100 faith communities across Chicago join Mayor Emanuel in this commitment to adopt the guidelines of the Paris Agreement," said Rev. Brian J. Sauder, President of Faith in Place, a local faith-based environmental justice organization. "The exit of the United States from the Paris Agreement is an evasion of our moral obligation to address climate change; however, Chicago will not be daunted or distracted. Under the Mayor's leadership, together, we will march forward in reducing emissions and transitioning to renewable energy for a healthy and just future.
Mayor Emanuel joined over 200 Mayors from around the country to commit to the Paris Agreement as part of the Mayors National Climate Agenda, or Climate Mayors. This network of U.S. mayors — representing over 56 million Americans in red states and blue states — work together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting efforts for binding federal and global-level policy making. Mayor Emanuel also joined over 1,000 state, local, and business leaders from across the country as part of the “We’re Still In” campaign, coming together to signal the importance of the Paris Accord both nationally and across the world.