Mayors sign climate charter at summit; Obama to speak

Obama ‘criticises Trump’ over climate pact withdrawal

US President Donald Trump with former US President Barack Obama

Former President Barack Obama is expected to address a gathering of mayors from around the globe convening in Chicago to discuss climate change after President Donald Trump said the USA will pull out of the Paris climate accord.

The leaders of China and India won't attend the Dec 12 meeting either, though each will send a minister, in what is billed as a follow-up to the landmark Paris climate accord reached in 2015.

"Ultimately the work is done on the ground", Obama said.

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Portland joins a list of cities and states across the country that are acting in direct contrast - and even independence from - the Trump administration on federal matters like climate change. "I am proud to stand together with the leading global city climate networks including the Global Covenant of Mayors, Climate Mayors and C40 to take decisive action to improve our environment while bettering our communities, and that begins right here".

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, in Paris on a five-day global trip, had a two-hour private lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron and gave a speech to business leaders.

Chicago officials said the idea is to fill the void left by the actions of Trump, who has worked to reverse much of Obama's approach to foreign policy.

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The charter calls for mayors to achieve a percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that's equal or more than outlined in the Paris agreement. It also calls for them to work with scientific and academic experts to find solutions.

There are many specific pledges in the charter signed today, including: investing in public transit and reducing the carbon footprint in new and existing buildings and infrastructure.

Emanuel said Trump and his environmental officials are in denial on climate change.

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