Just hours after Donald Trump sought to justify his withdrawal from the landmark global climate agreement by noting he was elected to represent Pittsburgh, not Paris, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced his city would shift to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035.
“Donald Trump said he was elected by voters of Pittsburgh, but his misguided decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement does not reflect the values of our city,” Peduto said. “Pittsburgh will not only heed the guidelines of the Paris agreement, we will work to move towards 100% clean and renewable energy for our future, our economy, and our people.”
Peduto chose the moment to sign on to Mayors for 100% Clean Energy, a coalition of U.S. municipal leaders who’ve made similar commitments.
“Pittsburgh is the first post-industrial city in the United States to aim to power itself with 100% clean energy,” said Sierra Club organizer Eva Resnick-Day. “Our city has always been on the forefront of innovation, and today’s announcement by Mayor Peduto shows that we will continue to be.”
“For every terrible decision Trump makes, local leaders like Mayor Peduto are fighting to make sure clean energy continues to grow by leaps and bounds,” added Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “Today’s announcement shows how grassroots activists, frontline communities, local governments, and concerned people across the United States can and will continue to drive the transition away from fossil fuels to 100% clean and renewable energy.”
The post-carbon transition in the United States received another boost last Wednesday as the California state senate passed Senate Bill 100, which calls for the state to produce all its power from renewable sources by 2045, while shifting its deadline for hitting a 50% threshold from 2030 to 2026. The bill has yet to pass the state assembly.
“Clean energy is the future,” said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles). “SB 100 ensures that California leads into the future.”
Meanwhile, in a visit with French President Emmanuel Macron, ex-New York mayor Michael Bloomberg affirmed that “Americans don’t need Washington to meet our Paris commitment, and Americans are not going to let Washington stand in the way of fulfilling it. That’s the message mayors, governors, and business leaders all across the U.S. have been sending.”
Bloomberg, who’s coordinating and helping to fund the new U.S. Climate Alliance of state and municipal governments, added that U.S. climate progress over the last decade “happened because of leadership from cities, public opposition to coal plants, and market forces that have made cleaner sources of energy—including solar and wind—cheaper than coal.”
In his role as UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Bloomberg said he would notify Secretary-General António Guterres that the U.S. will meet its Paris target—and is already half-way there.
“Through a partnership among American cities, states, and businesses, we will seek to remain part of the Paris agreement process,” he said. “The American government may have pulled out of the agreement, but the American people remain committed to it.”