Donate

De Blasio Says NYC Will Uphold Paris Climate Change Agreement Even If Trump Dumps It

Devastation in Breezy Point in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Dashed Arrow
Devastation in Breezy Point in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Courtesy Tod Seelie

President Trump will announce today whether or not the United States will officially renounce its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change. But whether or not the United States joins Syria and Nicaragua in shunning a global effort to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, in a series of tweets yesterday Mayor de Blasio affirmed that New York will continue to uphold the accord, and he plans to sign an executive order making those tweets official.

The Paris Agreement, upheld by nearly 200 countries and considered the most important climate change-related accord in history, requires individual nations to contribute financially to keep the global average temperature from rising more than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, as well as to help adapt to changes brought on by global warming and contribute to reduce greenhouse emissions worldwide. Trump, who once incorrectly claimed in a tweet that climate change was a hoax created by China, had promised to back out of the agreement during his campaign, and tweeted yesterday that he would announce his decision on Paris "over the next few days." Reports have since circulated that Trump has decided to pull out of the accord.

Shortly after Trump's tweet, de Blasio pointed out, also on Twitter, that NYC is already threatened by consequences of climate change, like rising sea levels and spiking temperatures, and called global warming "a dagger aimed straight at the heart" of the city:

The Mayor said he would sign an executive order affirming New York would adhere to the agreement:

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman also weighed in on Trump's reported plan to withdraw from the Paris agreement, calling it a "dangerous attack on urgent and common sense efforts to curb the devastating impacts of climate change." From Schneiderman's statement:

Climate change is causing real harm to communities around New York and across the country. Yet time and again, President Trump has proven he's more interested in protecting polluters than people.

I have not - and will not - hesitate to hold President Trump accountable for any climate policies that threaten New Yorkers. Efforts by Attorneys General and concerned citizens across the country are already forcing the Trump administration to retreat from some of its dangerous anti-climate policies.

Just last week, the Trump administration reversed course on energy efficiency standards after we sued. From defending the Clean Power Plan, to fighting President Trump's efforts to gut the Clean Water Rule, our work to preserve and protect public health and the environment will continue.

I will use the full power of my office to protect New Yorkers and our planet - and to fight the Trump Administration's harmful and retrograde actions.

Though there's no official word on Trump's decision, the administration is reportedly divided over the accord, with EPA chief Scott Pruitt and advisor Steve Bannon pushing for withdrawal while Trump's daughter Ivanka and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have been trying to convince him to stay. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has been serving on Trump's business advisory council, claimed on Twitter that he will have to depart that council should the President ditch the agreement.

In a CNN op-ed, columnist John Sutter said the decision to pull out of the agreement would be "catastrophic," and called it "a middle finger to the future." Sutter wrote, "The worst part: There is absolutely no reason for it. Aside, perhaps, from bravado and arrogance... The US withdrawal is completely nonsensical."

The President says he will announce his decision on the Paris Agreement at 3 p.m. today in the White House Rose Garden, surrounded by the very trees and plants and other advanced species whose future is threatened by the greenhouse gas emissions the agreement aims to combat.

Featured in News