New Haven Mayor Toni Harp signed a letter Friday denouncing President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.
In signing the letter, Harp joins the mayors of 186 American cities, including the mayors of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The letter states that despite U.S. withdrawal, signatories will seek to uphold the commitments of the Paris Agreement, a global pledge to curb greenhouse gas emissions, within their own cities.
“Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement takes the United States in the wrong direction and further erodes this nation’s leadership role regarding vitally important, international issues,” Harp said in a press release Friday. “New Haven has shown its willingness to step out on its own and will continue on the path toward more responsible use of natural resources and better stewardship of the environment we share.”
Every country represented within the United Nations, with the exceptions of Syria and Nicaragua, have signed on to the agreement and 147 countries have ratified it.
In a statement Thursday, Trump said he withdrew from the agreement to defend U.S. interests, adding that he would begin negotiations either to re-enter the agreement or to enter a new international environmental agreement on “terms that are fair.”
City spokesman Laurence Grotheer told the News that implementing eco-friendly initiatives has been one of Harp’s main points of focus over her past four years as mayor. He said Harp has replaced older light bulbs in street lamps and city government properties with more efficient LED bulbs to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, and that she has added more bike lanes and instituted traffic calming measures to promote biking and walking as substitutes to driving.
Shortly after signing the letter, Harp, who is president of the African American Mayors Association, released a statement urging other mayors within the AAMA to add their names to the list.
Trump’s move has prompted pushback from state leaders as well. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, released a statement Thursday chastising the president for his decision.
“Leaving the Paris Accord is a moral abomination. Our duty, as temporary occupants of this earth, is to leave the planet for our children and grandchildren in at least as good a condition as we found it,” Murphy wrote. “By turning our back on the global effort to stop the catastrophic warming of our planet in such a public and spiteful way, President Trump risks dooming the future of the planet and the future of our civilization.”