Mayor Murray, Councilmember O’Brien issue statements on President Trump’s withdrawal from Paris Agreement

Protesters rally against the Trump administration in early February 2017.(Reuters)

Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Mike O’Brien issued the following statements in reaction to President Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement to address climate change:

“Climate change threatens every part of our lives, from the air we breathe, to the food we eat, to resilience of our cities and infrastructure,” said Mayor Murray. “The United States led the world in developing the Paris Agreement, but President Trump’s reversal not only weakens U.S. leadership, but hurts our ability to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Our country, and our planet, have already paid the price for years of inaction on climate change and our children will look back on this day asking how a world leader could be so callous as to threaten their future. Going backward is not an option, which is why cities like Seattle will fill the void left by President Trump by keeping our commitments to the Paris Agreement. Seattle will pass a resolution affirming this commitment and signaling our readiness to create a cleaner, healthier environment.”

 

“Last year I joined Gov. Inslee and other local leaders in Paris,” said Councilmember O’Brien. “It served as a painful reminder that climate change is the most urgent challenge facing humankind. To mitigate the pollution causing climate change, Seattle and other cities around the world need to continue adopting the goals advanced by the Paris Agreement. More than half the world’s population lives in urban areas. We also know that cities account for almost two-thirds of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. No matter who occupies the White House, cities can be the incubators for the solutions to climate change, and can continue to resist Trump’s planet-destroying agenda.”

 

The City of Seattle has long been committed to addressing climate change through measures that reduce carbon emissions and policies that promote sustainability.

Seattle City Light, the City’s publicly-owned electric utility, has been carbon neutral since 2005.

In 2016, Mayor Murray launched Drive Clean Seattle to leverage Seattle’s clean electricity across the transportation sector to accelerate the City’s transition away from oil, with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the City fleet by 50 percent by 2025.

In his latest budget, Mayor Murray committed to creating 20 publicly accessible fast charging stations throughout Seattle; new charging stations were unveiled at Woodland Park Zoo this May in partnership with BMW’s car share service, ReachNow.

Additionally, Mayor Murray has signed agreements with Mexico City, Shenzhen, China, and Vancouver, British Columbia calling for increased collaboration on climate change and clean technology industries.

Also, the City has adopted strategies to disconnect Seattle’s economic and population growth from carbon pollution by making historic investments in bus service, transit-oriented development, and increased housing density, as well as strengthened its energy code beyond national standards to ensure buildings constructed today can be carbon neutral by 2050.