Walsh urges Trump to keep Paris climate pact
Mayor Martin J. Walsh urged the Trump administration Wednesday to remain part of the Paris climate agreement while pledging that the city will bolster its commitment to clean air and water.
At a City Hall news conference, held amid reports that President Trump is poised to withdraw the US from the landmark 2015 accord, Walsh said, “If this administration turns its back to the environment, cities like Boston will have to step up.”
“As a coastal city, we know what’s at stake,” Walsh said. “The city of Boston will not back down. We’re going to continue to invest in clean energy and create jobs.”
The Paris agreement commits nearly 200 nations to lowering carbon emissions linked to global warming.
Walsh said the plans to hold an international climate summit in Boston this year, an event announced to great fanfare last year in Beijing, have come to a halt because of a lack of support from the Trump administration. Walsh said he remains hopeful that the city can host some type of climate change event.
Earlier this month, the governors of Massachusetts and Vermont called on the Trump administration to maintain the nation’s commitment to the climate accord, writing that “the impacts of climate change have already been felt in our states.”
“We have seen the impacts of rising sea levels, increasingly severe flooding, heat waves, droughts, and decline in snow cover,” Governor Charlie Baker and fellow Republican Governor Phil Scott of Vermont wrote in a letter to Rick Perry, the US energy secretary. “These impacts threaten the people of our states and put an intense burden on our economies.”
Reports Wednesday that Trump would pull out of the agreement had ripple effects across the Globe and particularly in Boston, a city, Walsh said, that was “at the table because Boston at that point was and is a worldwide leader in climate action.”
According to city-commissioned reports, Boston is vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather situations. City officials have set strategic goals to address those concerns, making the environment a focal point of an Imagine Boston 2030 development plan.
The mayor was flanked by environmental leaders including Mindy Lubber, who works with Carbon Free Boston, a group that aims to turn the city over to all renewable energy by 2050, and Jim Canales, president and trustee of the Barr Foundation.
“We have helped lead the way in progress in climate action,” the mayor said. “We will not let this be undone by foolish political reasons. Our city depends upon it, our future depends upon it, our future generations depend upon it. Our planet depends upon it.”