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Mayors of 7,400 Cities Vow To Meet Obama's Climate Commitments (theguardian.com) 298

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Mayors of more than 7,400 cities across the world have vowed that Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord will spur greater local efforts to combat climate change. At the first meeting of a "global covenant of mayors," city leaders from across the US, Europe and elsewhere pledged to work together to keep to the commitments made by Barack Obama two years ago. Cities will devise a standard measurement of emission reductions to help them monitor their progress. They will also share ideas for delivering carbon-free transport and housing. Kassim Reed, the mayor of Atlanta, told reporters he had travelled to Europe to "send a signal" that US states and cities would execute the policies Obama committed to, whether the current White House occupants agreed or not. Reed, whose administration has promised that the city of Atlanta will use 100% renewable energy by 2035, said 75% of the US population and GDP lay in urban areas, where local leaders were committed to fighting climate change. "We have the ability to still achieve between 35% and 45% CO2 emission reductions without the involvement of the national government and it is why I chose to be here at this time to send a signal to 7,400 cities around the world that now should be a time of optimism, passion and action," he said.
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Mayors of 7,400 Cities Vow To Meet Obama's Climate Commitments

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @10:40PM (#54709901)
    Cities and states are the ones that are meant to participate under the Constitution.. not the feds. And this method goes on without the US sending billions more that we don't have to other countries.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pecosdave ( 536896 )

      Exactly.

      This is awesome.

      They're proving we didn't need them with some accord to do what's right, they're proving we can do it on our own.

      • That's sorely needed too. When you get into blue collar industries, you see all kinds of waste, including energy, that slashdot nerds or other engineers could easily fix at a profit for all. But there's this idea that it all has to come top down, so people stay in their niches, and the guys on top can't see the simple things from every day life. That's why really effective action against climate change, which is also makes long term financial sense, will best come from the bottom up: its a million small cha

      • by PoopJuggler ( 688445 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @05:08AM (#54710921)
        It's good but not desirable. The same way schools being forced to raise funds with bake sales is good, but not desirable.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dcw3 ( 649211 )

          It's good but not desirable. The same way schools being forced to raise funds with bake sales is good, but not desirable.

          Forced? We have some of the least cost efficient education on the planet. The school system where I live (Fairfax Co., VA) is funded by some of the highest property taxes in the nation. And yet, the waste and disregard for taxpayers money is blatant. And all the while, teachers still send home lists of supplies to coerce parents into providing what the schools could easily afford. Oh, and don't even think about not playing along if you care about your kid's grades. What a racket.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Thursday June 29, 2017 @08:46AM (#54711887) Homepage Journal

            All the countries with better and cheaper education systems have theirs centrally funded and managed. It seems like your problem is not enough government, not too much.

            The problem with small government is that it is too easy to corrupt. People like to present a false dichotomy of large vs. small, but there is such a thing as the right size too.

            • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

              Nice hijack. Nobody said anything about large vs. small govt. But I'll play just because Ami knows I'm a proponent of smaller govt.

              Please point to the evidence that smaller governments are easier to corrupt. Let me help you with that, and look at the chart here, and tell me the size of some of the least corrupt governments.
              https://www.forbes.com/sites/m... [forbes.com]

    • by Tulsa_Time ( 2430696 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @11:33PM (#54710097)

      I am one of those hated conservatives ... but I agree this is perfect...

      The Paris Accord was not a ratified treaty... there was no way to enforce it.

      If Cities and states want to voluntarily take action... go for it. That is how the constitution works...

      Watch out in those local and state elections however... ;)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If Cities and states want to voluntarily take action... go for it. That is how the constitution works...

        Nope. They are forbidden from forming concords among themselves, let alone with foreign nations, without the consent of Congress.

        Article I, Section 10, Clause 3.

        As such, they* are violating the Constitution, and Congress ought to revoke their attempt to circumvent the Federal Government, and the Department of Justice ought to bring them up on charges under the Logan Act.

        You do believe in the law, right? And following the PLAINLY written text of the Constitution?

        *Cities being non-sovereign entities are dep

        • by Anonymous Coward

          They're not making a concord, they're just saying they will act in a way which happens to be compatible with one. Since the Paris agreement was mostly a collection of more-or-less unilateral commitments for a common goal, as opposed to a monolithic give-and-take trade deal, this kind of works.

          The main problem will be if higher government enacts laws that cities can't meet their pseudo-Paris commitments under. For example, federal or state law proclaiming no new wind farms, a cap on installed solar capacity,

          • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

            They're not making a concord,...

            Let me understand your position. Indentations only matter if it's Trump and a travel ban. But the intentions of these mayors is somehow different? I guess we'll have to wait for SCOTUS to decide.

            • Let me understand your position. Indentations only matter if it's Trump and a travel ban.

              I'm amused that you think indentations matter.

              • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

                Let me understand your position. Indentations only matter if it's Trump and a travel ban.

                I'm amused that you think indentations matter.

                I'm amused that you don't know that they do in a legal sense under some conditions.

          • They're not making a concord, they're just saying they will act in a way which happens to be compatible with one.

            And I'm not tying my shoes. I'm just putting my shoelaces in an arrangement that keeps my shoes from falling off.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      States, cities, and the people themselves are indeed supposed to take on anything they choose to that is not specifically allocated to the federal government by the Constitution. International relations (including war,diplomacy,international treaties and agreements, etc) are however among the things specifically allocated to the feds.

      If some state, or county, or city wants to enforce some super-strict environmental policies of their own, that's perfectly fine - as long as they do not interfere in interstate

      • The people doing this present save-the-planet crap are NOT principled people; they are nearly all doing it out of spite over the loss of the 2016 election

        In general, they're doing it because they're in favor of lowering CO2 emissions, and after Trump won it will have to be done at the local level.

        I doubt ANY of them are for the feds no longer funding planned parenthood, or social security, or Obamacare, or foodstamps

        Those are appropriations that are explicitly allowed in the Constitution, and it's reaso

    • by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @06:20AM (#54711147)

      So, you don't think the developed economies of the world who have benefited by trashing the planet should pay something to help clean it up?

    • Re-read the summary - these are world mayors, not just US.

  • Almost all of the carbon emission targets will naturally be met anyway by natural decline in carbon emission. Greater uptake in natural gas use, much greater increase in Solar use (since prices for solar have been falling over the past few years), greater uptake in electric cars - it all means most cities will not actually have to to anything at all to meet the specious goals set forth. Paris was always meaningless from a carbon output perspective. We'll vastly exceed the goals set forth by 2028...

    I wond

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So you agree, Donald Trump's denunciation of the treaty was pointless, just an act of grandstanding as he boldly claims that he'll negotiate a better deal, pretending that it was, in some way a harmful injury to America that he saved us from, when in fact, it was not, and he could have simply managed to do nothing, and still gotten away with saying it was working, making his actions pointless. He didn't even get the credit he would have if he'd submitted it to the Senate.

      Glad you realized this, because whi

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Gravis Zero ( 934156 )

      I wonder if these cities ALSO plan to funnel billions of dollars to third world slush funds, which was the real goal of the Paris accords.

      You do realize the the penalties were always voluntary and that each country sets it's own goals, right? There was never going to be any money going anywhere, you rat-swindler.

    • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @01:48AM (#54710435) Journal

      Almost all of the carbon emission targets will naturally be met anyway by natural decline in carbon emission..... much greater increase in Solar use (since prices for solar have been falling over the past few years),

      You haven't really thought it through, have you?

      What do you think has caused solar prices to reduce? Did it ever occur to you that technological progress which has driven costs down might be related to the government incentives in many countries?

      As for the "billions of dollars". Do some research on how much the US was supposed to contribute and how much it actually has (hint, the latter number isn't measured in billions).

      In future, please try to avoid getting your facts from the Koch brothers and other fossil fuel backers.

      Oh, and finally, the program under which the Federal government provided loan guarantees to Solyndra actually made a profit for the US government.

      • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @08:25AM (#54711769) Homepage Journal

        Oh, and finally, the program under which the Federal government provided loan guarantees to Solyndra actually made a profit for the US government.

        The 'program' was much greater than Solyndra.

        Solyndra 'cost' the program over a half-billion dollars, with which they built a factory in Silicon Valley with singing robots that made very fragile, very expensive, solar panels.

        Solyndra was predicted to fail by the Bush administration, then a well-placed campaign contributions later the new Obama administration rejected the prediction of their own experts that Solyndra would fail by a certain date and issued the half-billion in loan guarantees anyway. Solyndra went bankrupt almost exactly on schedule, less than a month before the obama administration's predictions.

        Not quite sure how the government 'profits' from loan guarantees - please explain how that works. The loans weren't issued by the government and the interest wasn't paid to the government.

      • Oh, and finally, the program under which the Federal government provided loan guarantees to Solyndra actually made a profit for the US government.

        Without the underlying numbers, "made a profit" is a meaningless statement. If you take a look at the Dept. of Energy's own rosy projections [energy.gov], you see that even they are not predicting the program will turn an actual (inflation-adjusted) profit.

        For a loan portfolio around $30 billion, they're predicting $5 billion in interest payments over the entire term of the program, with average loan terms around 25 years. That $5 billion apparently does not account for defaults (over half a billion already over the f

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

      Yeah because carbon reduction would have happened naturally and has nothing to do with investments from governments. /Sarcasm

      There are countries far ahead of the USA who analysts say will struggle to meet the emissions targets. So good luck doing it by natural attrition with the fed's opposed to it at every turn.

      I wonder if these cities ALSO plan to funnel billions of dollars to third world slush funds, which was the real goal of the Paris accords.

      Not sure what upsets me more, that you don't understand the agreement or that as an American who rose to power by climbing up the general decay of the environment and who stand on your hill of moral

    • So, if all of this was as easy as pie, why the Orange Clown went back on it? I guess, it was because of cheap popularity points in Idiocracy?

    • by shilly ( 142940 )

      The fact of an existing trend is completely orthogonal to the efficacy or otherwise of a city's actions in affecting climate change. If a city buys EV buses and promotes public transport more generally, its CO2e from transport will be lower than it would otherwise have been. That kind of action is exactly what these cities are committing to.

  • I've noticed for years that when a very public figure head makes a controversial stance against something, it only serves to popularize the opposition. A variation of the Streisand Effect, or an more ur-version of it at any rate. I wonder how aware politicians have been of this, and have used this to push their own agenda?

    Obama and guns for instance; guns and ammo sales skyrocketed in 2008 and 2012, so much so that there were severe ammo shortages. Obama never made any real moves to limit 2nd amendment r

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rockoon ( 1252108 )
      It was Bill Clinton, A FUCKING DEMOCRAT that federally deregulated the banks and federally instituted the racist 3-strikes law.

      We were told that this sort of stuff would have been a Republican wet dream. THE DEMOCRATS DID IT
      • by hawkfish ( 8978 )

        It was Bill Clinton, A FUCKING DEMOCRAT that federally deregulated the banks and federally instituted the racist 3-strikes law.

        We were told that this sort of stuff would have been a Republican wet dream. THE DEMOCRATS DID IT

        And the Dems wonder why they can't win elections.

      • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

        It was Bill Clinton, A FUCKING DEMOCRAT that federally deregulated the banks and federally instituted the racist 3-strikes law.

        Presidents don't pass legislation, Congress does. They can veto legislation, but only if Congress can't sweeten it enough to get a 2/3 majority.

        The Congress during all but the first 2 years of Clinton's term was heavily Republican, and run by Newt Gingrich. Bill was in a position where he could dedicate his remaining 6 years in office to being a speedbump, or work with them to blunt the hard edges off of the right-wing crap that the people of the USA elected that congress to pass.

        Now you could argue tha

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @01:21AM (#54710375)

    What percentage of the heavy industry in the US is under the jurisdiction of state and local governments that have signed up to these carbon reduction plans?

  • by mrthoughtful ( 466814 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @01:45AM (#54710427) Journal

    So, what I don't get is the political angle on this. I don't think there are very many people who deny that the climate is changing any more. Sure, there's a question of whether or not it's being substantially caused by human activity. Sure, I (along with 98% scientists) believe that there is a correlation. But regardless of human activity, are there really people out there who deny the correlation between CO2 and CC, regardless of human involvement?

    Maybe they should go and spend some time on Venus.

  • by misnohmer ( 1636461 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @04:03AM (#54710775)

    "Reed, whose administration has promised that the city of Atlanta will use 100% renewable energy by 2035"
    What is that commitment here is nothing, other than the administration who committed to it will long gone by then and will be liable for nothing. In 2035 you can ask, hey, why isn't Atlanta 100% on renewables, and the answer will be "what are you talking about, we didn't commit to anything, go talk to the retired politicians who made you this promise".

    Commitments backed by nothing are meaningless publicity stunts. It's like taking an unsecured loan with zero payments until well after your death. In this case what they are borrowing is popular votes.

    • Commitments backed by nothing are meaningless publicity stunts.

      Quite often commitments are backed by "nothing" is the sense that nobody today has any skin in the game, but that future people are on the hook.

      For instance, see the funding of the local public union pensions. Notice the complete lack of funding? ..even for contractual promises signed 40 years ago? Yeah.

  • Mayors of 7,400 Cities Vow To Meet Obama's Climate Commitments
    Anonymous Coward 9 hours ago 127
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Mayors of more than 7,400 cities across the world have vowed that Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord will spur greater local efforts to combat climate change.

    So all these mayors from around the world Have committed to comply with The Paris Accord? Big whoop! Their national leaders already committed - are they planing to meet to US goals and honor the US obligations with regard to funding 3rd-world developing nations as they continue to increase their levels of greenhouse gasses for years?

    • Cough up the cash if their country chooses not to? I'm guessing the answer is nope. They just are going to uphold THEIR individual commitment to the Paris Accords, which is pretty much "nothing" at all.... They are not a party to the agreement, didn't have any commitments prescribed in the agreement and have no control over if the country they are in or out of the agreement.

      Which really illustrates the whole farce that this is... The Paris Accords didn't really do anything significant on emissions reduc

  • That is the real question.
    • LOL, you need an answer to that question? This whole Paris Accord thing is a farce. We are just patting ourselves on the back and making ourselves feel better, but nothing is really being accomplished.

  • We've seen this before with cities trying their own minimum wage hikes. A few in deep blue states will get away with it, while Republican state legislatures (32 of the 50 states by my count) will pass laws banning cities from doing anything on their own.
  • ...We should be OK.
    For example, the mayor of my city, Los Angeles, vowed to make the pork-ridden DWP ( Department of Water and Power) begin contributing to the cost of their health plans. FYI: the AVERAGE DWP employee earns 26% more than the average civilian worker.
    They just renegotiated with the union yesterday. The new contract has them contributing nothing to health care, with a 12% raise.
    So , really, Vows are worthless.

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