Hagerty, Schapiro pledge to uphold Paris Accord after Trump withdraws


Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS

President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden Thursday announcing he will withdraw from the Paris Accord. In Evanston, both Mayor Steve Hagerty and University President Morton Schapiro criticized Trump's decision.

Amelia Langas, Reporter

University President Morton Schapiro and Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty on Friday criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and pledged to remain dedicated to the cause.

Schapiro and Hagerty both signed on to statements promising they would continue to uphold the agreement, which aims to inhibit the increase in global temperature this century. The climate accord has been signed by all of the United Nations countries except Syria and Nicaragua.

Trump said in a news conference Friday that he elected to quit the agreement because it “disadvantages” the United States.

“I will work to ensure that America remains the world’s leader on environmental issues, but under a framework that is fair and where the burdens and responsibilities are equally shared among the many nations all around the world,” Trump said.

The Paris Accord hurt U.S. industry and would decrease manufacturing jobs, Trump said. The terms subject the U.S. to “harsh economic restrictions” while imposing no constraints on other polluting countries, he added.

Northwestern responded to the withdrawal by signing the Grand Coalition Statement on the Paris Agreement — an open letter to the international community that reaffirms support for the accord.

“The Trump administration’s announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change,” the letter said. “In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses … will pursue ambitious climate goals.”

Hagerty released a statement Friday repudiating Trump’s decision to exit the agreement. The mayor said Evanston would remain committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Global climate action begins at the local level, and Evanston has long been a leader,” Hagerty said in the statement. “As the Trump administration steps aside in the fight against climate change, it’s more important than ever that cities like Evanston lead.”

Following in former Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl’s footsteps, Hagerty said he is a member of the Compact of Mayors — a global coalition of more than 600 city leaders “dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, making their communities more resilient to climate change, and regularly reporting their progress publicly.”

In the 2014 Evanston Livability Plan, the city set out plans to reduce its emissions 20 percent by 2016 compared to 2005 baseline levels. Hagerty said those efforts are currently under evaluation.

“I’m committed to continuous action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our city, encourage energy efficiency, and work toward a sustainable future for all,” Hagerty said.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @amelialangas