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As Trump weighs Paris Treaty, U.S. mayors consider a move to 100 percent clean energy

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The U.S. Conference of Mayors will be examining a resolution to support a switch to clean energy


With news today that President Trump plans to back out of the Paris Climate Accords, the landmark international agreement to curb carbon emissions, the country’s status as a diplomatic and scientific leader is at stake—not to mention the worldwide effort to curb global warming.

A group of U.S. mayors, however, believe they might be able to take the mantle of sustainability and environmental responsibility. In addition to local initiatives and plans to encourage renewable energy and build for a more resilient future, many are looking for ways to drastically cut carbon emissions, and encourage other cities to follow suit.

Today, Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina, announced a resolution he plans to submit to the U.S. Conference of Mayors that would formally establish support from the nation’s mayors for the goal of 100 percent renewable energy in cities nationwide.

“It’s up to us as leaders to creatively implement clean energy solutions for our cities across the nation,” said Mayor Benjamin in a statement. “It’s not merely an option now; it’s imperative.”

Benjamin, a co-chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, also expressed his support for a renewable energy pledge in Columbia. Currently, 29 cities have already committed to an 100 percent clean energy. This resolution would help cities work together to make the switch to clean energy. Cities represent 75 percent of the world's energy consumption, and many local politicians believe cities can become leaders for a more sustainable future.

Benjamin’s proposal will be introduced at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting, which will be held from June 23–26 in Miami Beach, Florida.

This statement will bolster the Mayors for 100% Clean Energy initiative launched by the organization in April. Mayor Jackie Biskupi of Salt Lake City, Utah, a co-chair of the initiative, added: “As a mayor—and a mother—I’m committed to doing everything possible to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for our community. The impacts of climate change cross city lines and political boundaries.”