Citizens, business leaders, mayors: “We’re not leaving the Paris Agreement”
After President Trump announced that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, mayors, governors, and Change.org community members from around the world said “No, we’re not.”
Lead by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, forty-nine mayors from the world’s largest cities are using Change.org to demand climate action from the G20 meeting coming up this summer. The Cities, Climate Leadership Group (C40) are calling on the G20 heads of state to re-commit to the emissions reduction goals set forth under the Paris Agreement. Hidalgo took inspiration from the over 300 U.S. mayors and governors who have articulated their continued commitment to the agreement since Trump’s decision.
Elected officials are not the only ones taking action. On Change.org, everyday citizens are springing into action, starting petitions to demand that their states and cities – from Jacksonville, FL to Marquette, MI – join the movement. Thousands of leaders in the U.S. economy, including investors, business leaders, colleges, universities and legislators have signed on to a letter stating “we are still in.”
As citizens build pressure on their mayors and governors, C40 mayors are directing that pressure upwards, towards world leaders. “You have the privilege of leadership at a unique moment in history,” Paris Mayor Hidalgo writes to G20 leaders. “The cities of the world and their citizens have a shared vision for a just and sustainable future – one that will make our communities cleaner, healthier, happier and more prosperous.”
The Change.org community also sees themselves at a unique moment in history – one where action is required if our planet is to be preserved for future generations. Hamza Khan, a candidate for Maryland delegate who is pressuring his governor to join the Climate Alliance, reminded me in an interview that “there is no backup planet or spare Earth for us to move to if we wreck this one.”
Though President Trump’s decision may indicate an end to the U.S. government’s role as a climate leader, people and mayors from around the world are stepping up, and plan to keep fighting to protect the only planet we have.
You too can join the growing climate movement by adding your name to the call for G20 leaders to uphold the agreement, or follow the movement to pressure U.S. mayors to do the same. Don’t see your city represented? Start your own petition.