De Blasio Pledges to Ignore Trump Withdrawal From Paris Agreement

Says New York will take 'matters into our own hands'

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio / AP
May 31, 2017

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that his city would uphold the Paris climate change accords, even if President Donald Trump's administration announced it would not.

The United States agreed to the Paris climate agreement during the final year of the Obama administration. Former President Barack Obama issued an executive order in September 2016 formally entering the agreement and promising to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17.89 percent.

But administration sources reported Wednesday that Trump would soon announce his intention to withdraw from the agreement. The White House is allegedly weighing ideas on how to leave the agreement, including declaring it a treaty that would require Senate ratification.

De Blasio responded to the reports by blasting Trump on Twitter, tweeting that "withdrawing from the Paris Agreement would be horribly destructive for the planet, the country, and this city." He then said that "climate change is a dagger aimed straight at the heart of New York City."

"We'll take matters into our own hands," de Blasio continued. "I plan to sign an executive order maintaining New York City’s commitment to the Paris Agreement."

De Blasio at a press conference promised to sign the executive order within the week.

"If cities and towns and counties and states all over the country step up and agree to abide by the Paris agreement, we can forestall the worst," he said. "We can stop what President Trump may be about to do from having a devastating effect on our own people."

The most recent city report found that New York has already decreased its greenhouse gas emissions by 11.7 percent since 2005, "largely as a result of power plants switching their fuel source from carbon-intensive coal to natural gas."