Obama in Chicago on Tuesday for Rahm climate summit

Jay Jacobs
December 8, 2017

Former President Barack Obama has lamented the lack of USA leadership in the fight against climate change and without mentioning his successor Donald Trump, who has been dismantling his administration's environmental policies, he said that the country is in a position that is "difficult to defend".

USA TODAY has obtained a draft of the "Chicago Charter", an agreement that at least 36 US cities are slated to sign Tuesday at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago.

Ever so classy, Obama did not mention Trump by name, instead he said it was an "unusual time" with the U.S.as the only country to walk away from the Paris agreement, but it was a chance for local leaders to come together and fulfill promises the country has made.

"There is an absence of leadership out of Washington", said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served as President Obama's chief of staff.

Mr. Emanuel, a Democrat, has emerged as a vocal, persistent check on Mr. Trump's powers, clashing with the administration on climate change, law enforcement and immigration.

Trump, who has expressed skepticism about the scientific consensus on climate change and more generally chafes at the notion of worldwide agreements, announced in June that he was withdrawing the US from the climate accord.

Speaking in Chicago to mayors at a climate summit, the former president noted the "conveyor belt" of hurricanes this year and western cities dealing with "longer and harsher" wildfire seasons.

Obama, who enacted the Paris deal, is expected to speak Tuesday afternoon. The statement was, seemingly, a public reference to a "Thanks, Obama" meme that conservatives have used to mock the former commander-in-chief for certain policies in the past, The Independent reported.

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Mayors from 51 cities around the world attended the event.

The participants at the conference included Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and the Mayors of Mexico City and Guadalajara - Miguel Angel Mancera and Enrique Alfaro Ramirez, respectively - as well as Montreal's Valerie Plante and Vancouver's Gregor Robertson.

"But the good news is that the Paris agreement was never going to solve the climate crisis on its own", Obama stated. "It was going to be up to all of us", Obama said.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says rising water levels and affordable housing are concerns for his city. The mayors signed a charter that echoes portions of the 2015 Paris agreement.

The former president hilariously thanked himself for his administration's impressive economic record during a speech at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago Tuesday.

Chicago officials are billing the North American Climate Summit Chicago as the first of its kind in the city.

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

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. He says mayors will sign a charter and discuss solutions including expanding access to public transportation.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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