Two other Arizona cities Friday spurned President Donald Trump’s plan to pull the U.S. out of a global emissions compact, pledging they would hew to the emission goals laid out in the Paris accord.
Tucson and Phoenix joined Flagstaff in a letter that had been signed by 175 mayors – and counting – as of Friday evening, three times as many as had signed a day earlier.
“We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy,” said the letter by the group, Climate Mayors. “The world cannot wait – and neither will we.”
The action comes months after city council members in Flagstaff, Mesa, Tucson, Surprise and Tempe signed an open letter from the National League of Cities in March urging the president not to pull out of the climate agreement.
In the National League of Cities letter in March, council members warned of what they call the destructive effects of climate change on municipal governments.
“Extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts, heavy downpours, floods and other storms, which have become more frequent and more severe, have brought renewed attention to the need for cities to anticipate, prepare for and adapt to their impacts,” the letter said.
Officials from those cities, and from other cities and counties around the state, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday on the president’s announcement.
But in a statement Thursday from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton – who heads the group’s environment committee – praised the Paris climate deal as a step in the right direction.
“The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a strong proponent of the need to address climate change and we support the Paris agreement, which positions the world’s nations, including the United States, to be energy independent, self-reliant, and resilient,” Stanton said in the statement.