As it turns out, not all Americans are forced to go along with President Donald Trump's policies.
Back in March, members of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA), a group of city leaders dedicated to fighting climate change and preparing for global warming, announced they would not enforce an executive order issued by Trump rolling back former President Barack Obama's policies.
While technically, cities may not officially join the agreement, they are allowed to informally agree to its guidelines. With this in mind, at least 86 cities are choosing to ignore the president by adopting the Paris agreement on their own, marking this as one of the most sweeping anti-federal government acts we've seen cities or states being involved with in recent years.
According to the plan outlined by the group, the mayors intend to join the other 194 nations on board with the accord by “increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency” and promising to “buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks.” By embracing the agreement, they also intend to step up any effort that curbs greenhouse gas emissions, helping to foster a clean energy economy within their cities.
And “if the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks,” the plan adds.
By unilaterally joining the accord, mayors said they want to ensure their cities are doing their part. After all, the plan concludes, “[t]he world cannot wait — and neither will we.”
American city mayors vowing to meet the accord's goals are part of an international group of mayors who have made their own commitments to fight climate change, Curbed reports.
In a statement from Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the chair of the international coalition of mayors dedicated to climate action known as C40, the cities will not change their goals because of Trump's stance.
“[T]he great cities of the world, in particular the twelve American C40 cities, remain resolutely committed to doing what needs to be done to implement the Paris Agreement,” the statement read. “Not a single day goes by without C40 mayors on every continent making bold and pioneering choices, serving citizens of the future.”
Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina, has also responded to Trump's announcement by pushing a resolution that would establish support for a shift in energy goals.
If his resolution is adopted by members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, mayors nationwide would have the support of other cities to meet their goal of moving to 100 percent renewable energy. Benjamin's resolution is already backed by 29 cities.
In essence, this move shows that smaller government units have the power to say "no" to the federal government if they wish, proving that, at times, policies pushed by the president aren't necessarily embraced by all Americans. Hopefully, this lesson in political action is being thoroughly learned and cherished from sea to shining sea.