You Should Know

You Should Know

Why Did Global Mayors Meeting in Chicago to Take Action on Climate?

by Karen Weigert, Juliana Kerr, and Vicky Stavropoulos
Nearly 50 mayors from around the world were in Chicago December 4-5, 2017, for the inaugural North American Climate Summit. Here’s what you should know about the first major climate conference in the United States since President Trump announced withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Why Did Global Mayors Meet in Chicago to Take Action on Climate?

by Karen Weigert, Juliana Kerr, and Vicky Stavropoulos

Nearly 50 mayors from around the world were in Chicago December 4-5, 2017, for the inaugural North American Climate Summit. Here’s what you should know about the first major climate conference in the United States since President Trump announced withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Photo: iStock/marchello74
Photo: iStock/marchello74
After President Trump announced in June his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, more than 2,300 cities, counties, states, and businesses, representing more than half the US economy and population signed the America’s Pledge “We Are Still In” declaration.
Photo: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
Chicago was one of the first cities to take action when Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed an Executive Order committing the city to the carbon reduction goals of the Paris Agreement.
Photo: REUTERS/Jim Young
Mayor Emanuel also announced that Chicago would host the inaugural North American Climate Summit, bringing together nearly 50 mayors to take action on climate.
Photo: iStock/LevKPhoto
Chicago hosted the Summit in partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and C40, a network of the global cities committed to addressing climate change.
Photo: REUTERS/Henry Romero
These are two among the multiple coalitions of non-federal leaders across the United States and the world focused on reducing climate change including Climate Mayors, Cities for Action, the United States Climate Alliance, and R20 Regions of Climate Action.
Photo: REUTERS/ Hector Guerrero/Pool
At the Summit, mayors committed to carbon reduction goals that are at least as ambitious as their nation’s commitments to the Paris Agreement, and signed the Chicago Charter, a new level of engagement for their shared commitment.
Photo: REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen
Chicago has been a strong leader on climate action. Over the past decade the City of Chicago has grown its economy while reducing emissions, and has already achieved 40 percent of its Paris Agreement carbon goal.
Photo: National Geographic/Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
Mayor Emanuel accelerated energy efficiency in buildings across the city, announced that all city buildings will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, and increased transportation options.
Photo: iStock/JillianCain
During the North American Climate Summit, the fifth annual C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards were announced, recognizing some of the most innovative city actions addressing climate change around the world.
Photo: REUTERS/Henry Romero
Among the 25 award finalists are Retrofit Chicago, Dar Rapid Transit Project in Dar Es Salaam, and a project to revitalize the Yangtze River embankment in Wuhan.
Photo: REUTERS/Stringer
Mayors who attended the Summit recognize that climate change has already started to impact their communities and that actions to reduce emissions are vital to an inclusive and strong economy.
Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
They know that a clear majority of Americans—62%—think the US should participate in the Paris Agreement, and that public opinion on climate change as a critical threat is greater now than ever before. 
Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
An unofficial delegation representing US states and cities attended COP23 in Bonn, Germany, and hosted the alternate US Climate Action Center, the biggest pavilion at the climate talks.
Photo: REUTERS/Alister Doyle
While the United States has become the only country in the world opposed to the Paris Agreement after Nicaragua and Syria signed in fall 2017, cities like Chicago are stepping up to meet the US commitment and take action on climate.
Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Learn more about the innovative efforts of mayors from around the world and watch the video of the Council’s program with the mayors of Washington, DC, Montréal, Colima City, and Vancouver held prior to the opening of the inaugural North American Climate Summit.

Learn more about global cities' efforts to combat climate change and watch the video of the Council’s program with the mayors of Washington, DC, Montréal, Colima City, and Vancouver held prior to the opening of the inaugural North American Climate Summit.

Photo: iStock/chrisp0

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©2017 Chicago Council on Global Affairs