Triangle cities join revolt against US withdrawal from climate pact
Posted June 2
Updated June 3
Durham, N.C. — Several Triangle mayors have joined their counterparts from across the U.S. who are voicing opposition to President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the landmark Paris climate agreement.
So far, about 170 mayors have signed a statement that vows to "adopt, honor and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement." The statement says the mayors will increase investments in renewable energy, create more demand for electric vehicles and work toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
"It just makes good sense," said Durham Mayor Bill Bell, an electrical engineer by trade. "We're talking about the quality of life not just for this generation, but for generations to come, and anything we can do to reduce the carbon footprint, we're about the business of doing that."
Durham is already taking major steps to reduce its own carbon footprint, he said, such as installing electric vehicle charging stations across the city and converting methane from one of its landfills into electricity.
Being part of the Paris agreement gives Durham a chance share ideas with other cities nationwide and across the globe, he said.
Mayors in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem also signed the statement from the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda.
Although not surprised by Trump's move – the then-candidate frequently promised withdrawing from the international accord while on the campaign trail last year – Bell said it creates concerns for the future.
"It just, in my opinion, presents America in a poor light on an international scene in terms of being a leader," he said. "We are supposed to be a country of innovation, forwardness, bright ideas. But this seems to be taking us in the wrong direction."