County Plans To Reaffirm Commitment to Paris Climate Agreement

‘We have to live on the planet with other countries,’ one council member says


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County Council member George Leventhal speaks on Tuesday about the county resolution to pursue the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement

Screenshot via Montgomery County Council on YouTube

The Montgomery County Council is again taking a stand opposing President Donald Trump’s actions.

The council on Tuesday introduced a resolution to reaffirm the county’s commitment to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement after Trump announced earlier this month the U.S. would withdraw from the accord. Trump said the agreement places too many financial and economic burdens on the country.

Council President Roger Berliner said the county has worked locally for more than a decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use more renewable energy. He said committing to the agreement that asks governments to take steps to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius is in line with the county’s environmental efforts. The nine-member all-Democratic council is scheduled to formally approve the resolution June 20.

This is the second resolution the council has taken up opposing one of Trump’s moves. In March, the council passed a resolution rejecting Trump’s federal budget proposal that would slash the budgets of several locally based agencies. The resolution said Trump’s budget proposal is in “direct conflict with the priorities and values of a majority of Montgomery County residents.”

In addition to the expected passage of the council resolution, the county also joined the “We Are Still In” coalition of more than 1,000 U.S. states, cities, businesses and universities that plan to pursue the climate goals of the Paris agreement.

“This is one of many efforts underway to express the anguish of state and local governments,” council member George Leventhal said. “We have to live on the planet with other countries. We should be building bridges, not building walls between the United States and the rest of the world.

“It’s rare that the County Council opines on global issues, but it isn’t rare and it isn’t unusual that we take real constructive action to address the looming threat of climate change,” Leventhal added.

The resolution notes county buildings use electricity from clean sources or purchase carbon offsets for buildings that use heating oil and natural gas. The county also is adding solar panels on its buildings, and has committed to reducing county-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent every five years through 2020.

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