Barack Obama 'criticises Trump' over climate pact withdrawal

Barack Obama in Paris

At a conference of mayors in Chicago, Mr. Obama congratulated himself Tuesday for strong employment numbers in the US this year, saying his climate-change policies have contributed to growth.

About 50 mayors from cities large and small wrapped up a climate change summit in Chicago Wednesday, where they signed a formal agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their cities. Instead after we took these actions, we saw the USA economy grow consistently, we saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far.

The agreement lays out the framework for how some of the country's municipalities plan to reach goals to reduce greenhouse emission and monitor each others progress - objectives similar to what the Paris worldwide climate pact strives to achieve.

Chicago is committing to electric cars and renewable energy as cities step up to fulfill an global climate change deal the USA has spurned.

Although cities leaders believe their collective efforts can help the US meet the previously-agreed upon benchmark, Biskupski said that the municipal officials need federal commitment on stemming climate change.

President Trump's announcement on June 1 that the USA will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is "difficult to defend", Obama said, indicating membership would spur growth rather than stifle it.

The Chicago Climate Charter represents cities around the world that want to "confront climate change head-on", said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement.

Mayors from 51 cities are attending and will sign a charter outlining planned actions.

Obama was in town for a private speech later in the day and talked to mayors in attendance at the downtown climate event for about 15 minutes.




More than 377 mayors have committed to the initiatives in the Paris Agreement, despite President Trump's decision to withdraw, the mayor's office said.

Obama also refrained from criticizing Trump directly.

Between July and September, the U.S. GDP, a gauge of economic output, grew at three percent-continuing similar growth reported in the previous quarter.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says rising water levels and affordable housing are concerns for his city.

"Miami already floods on sunny days", Obama said.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is one of three dozen mayors expected to sign a pact tomorrow vowing their cities will do their parts to meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. "Western cities across North American are dealing with longer and harsher wild fire seasons".

The agreement requires the cities to track and publicly report city emissions, advocate for greater local authority and flexibility to take aggressive action on climate, and incorporate the realities of climate change and its impacts into local infrastructure and energy planning. "Thanks, Obama", he said, as the audience burst into laughter and applause.

The idea is to fill the void left by the actions of the Republican president, who has worked to reverse much of Obama's approach to foreign policy. He says mayors will sign a charter and discuss solutions including expanding access to public transportation.

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