Southeast Magazine – By Jeff Buttigieg
While in Paris on the eve of President Trump’s first state visit, President Barack Obama travelled to create the Prospect. That was President Obama’s vision for a world with a total commitment to combat climate change that was a hundred years in the making, and was to change lives here in the United States and beyond.
Imagine a world where deforestation, soil erosion, and disruption of water supplies are all avoided for the next 100 years. To ensure that happens, the French called upon us to launch the “Prospect” to cut carbon pollution in the most effective, cost-effective way possible. We’re leveraging this investment to reduce fossil fuel dependency in the United States, to attract clean energy companies to our shores, and to launch green innovation around the world.
This morning, President Trump announced that the United States would cease to support the Paris agreement, a reversal of years of progress that showed us how to lead. As a nation that uses two of every three calories of renewable energy, we must do our part to transform the entire global energy market. We can’t succeed if we shrink our footprint.
One of the reasons we’re the closest we’ve ever been to this vision of the future is because this work is led by mayors and their mayors, and I’m proud to be the only mayor who sits at the table. Mayor Meléndez and his colleagues from around the world are leading the way by investing in research, designing city-sized projects like the Pacific Northwest Renewable Energy Laboratory, and establishing new global initiatives like the Global Alliance for Climate Protection. From Paris to New Delhi, we’re making sure that leaders are taking the necessary steps to innovate to meet their 2030 emission reduction targets.
This is an essential investment and a critical moment in the history of climate action. I can make this promise to the American people: We will not allow this setback to stop our march toward Paris. We’ll stay the course and keep investing in clean energy, launching new partnerships to encourage innovation and cutting carbon pollution. We will not back down from our commitments.