He said the U.S.is in an "unusual" position as the only country that hasn't signed on to the Paris agreement after Syria signed last month.
On December 4-6, 2017, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will host the North American Climate Summit in concert with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy partners, bringing together leaders from the U.S., Canada and Mexico to sign the Chicago Climate Charter and commit to addressing climate change at the local level.
While China, India and Brazil, along with many other developing countries and wealthy nations such as the USA and European Union member states have recently chosen to ratify the Paris Agreement, Russia is absent from the list of backers. "And that's a hard position to defend. It was going to be up to all of us", he continued.
"From closing coal plants, to investing in electric vehicles and public transportation, to reducing electricity usage in our buildings, to updating streetlights across the city, Chicago is showcasing to the world the impact that cities can have on climate change for their residents and for people around the world", Emanuel said in a statement.
"But the good news is that the Paris agreement was never going to solve the climate crisis on its own", Obama stated.
The Chicago agreement includes a committment to reducing carbon emissions, reporting and tracking city emissions, and developing city-specific climate programs and policies, among other pledges. "Cities and states and businesses and universities and nonprofits have emerged as the new face of American leadership on climate change".
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President Trump's announcement on June 1 that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is "difficult to defend", Obama said, indicating membership would spur growth rather than stifle it.
USA TODAY has obtained a draft of the "Chicago Charter", an agreement that at least 36 US cities are slated to sign Tuesday at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago. We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a number of other mayors have signed onto the Chicago Climate Charter, committing to reduce emissions.
Former President Barack Obama is expected to address mayors from around the world at a Chicago summit to discuss climate change.
"You may withdraw", says Emanuel, referring to Trump pulling out of the Paris Agreement.
Dressed casually in a jacket but no tie, Obama was introduced by Emanuel, who was his first White House Chief of Staff and had invited him to speak for 15 minutes off the meeting's official agenda. "But we're all in on the Paris protocols".