Paris Mayor: Donald Trump Has Made A ‘Dramatic and Unpopular’ Mistake in Leaving Paris Agreement

In November 2015, more than 190 nations came to Paris for 13 days of intense negotiations that resulted in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This historic international accord brought the nations of the world together in combatting the greatest threat our planet has ever faced.

Though not direct signatories to the agreement, mayors and cities played a pivotal role in offering tangible climate action and support for nations to put forward ambitious, but achievable, climate targets. In fact, while nation states were negotiating, we, along with Michael R. Bloomberg, the U.N. Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, convened a summit bringing together 1,000 mayors and cities at Paris City Hall. There we committed to tackle climate change through bold actions.

The incredible diplomatic achievement of the Paris agreement could not have happened without the decisive, ambitious role of the United States. And today, we witness U.S. President Donald Trump making a dramatic and unpopular mistake in electing to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement.

As the chair of C40, a network of 91 of the world’s major cities committed to tackling climate change and as the mayor of Paris, I urge the U.S. administration to reconsider this short-sighted decision. The years to 2020 will be crucial in determining if the worst effects of climate change can be avoided. American leadership on this urgent challenge is needed now more than ever.

Regardless of President Trump’s decision, the great cities of the world, in particular the 12 American C40 cities, remain resolutely committed to doing what needs to be done to implement the Paris Agreement.

As mayors, we recognize that climate change poses a unique threat to the future of our planet. Already we see the effects of climate disruption every day, from hurricanes in New Orleans and New York to floods in Paris, Houston and Montreal to deadly heatwaves in Sydney to toxic air pollution in Beijing, New Delhi and other large cities.

We recognize the peril climate change poses to the health, prosperity, security and the very survival of our children and grandchildren.

Not a day goes by without C40 mayors on every continent making bold and pioneering choices, to help create a cleaner, safer world for the next generations. We will not relent. We already know that cities are where the future happens first, and we remain committed to a greener future for all. There is no alternative.

Anne Hidalgo is the Mayor of Paris and Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.