Donald Trump looked to the U.S. Rust Belt to explain why he’s withdrawing from the global effort to fight climate change, saying, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
The thing is, the people of Pittsburgh are going green.
Pittsburgh mayor, William Peduto, issued a statement decrying Trump’s decision to quit the Paris accord as “disastrous,” and has set a goal of running the city completely with clean power by 2035.
“Pittsburgh will not only heed the guidelines of the Paris agreement, we will work to move toward 100 percent clean and renewable energy for our future, our economy, and our people,” he said in a Sierra Club statement Friday.
Pittsburgh is committed fighting global warming, the Democrat said. And Trump shouldn’t have invoked Pittsburgh by name, said Peduto, who went to Paris in 2015 when the accord was signed.
“I’m appalled that the president used my city to justify his unacceptable decision, as most other Pittsburghers are,” the mayor said in a statement.
Peduto’s reaction was part of the widespread condemnation from U.S. civic, state and business leaders that came in reaction to Trump’s decision to walk away from the landmark environmental accord. Mayors from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, blasted the move in press releases and on Twitter. California Governor Jerry Brown called Trump’s choice “tragic.”
“California will resist,” Brown said on a call with reporters. “This is an insane move by this president.”
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The president, who refuses to say whether he believes climate change is real, may have invoked Pittsburgh in an effort to conjure images of the city’s bygone days as a hard-nosed steel town.
Pittsburgh, however, has come a long way. It now boasts a vibrant tech economy, prompting Uber Technologies, Inc. to tap the city last year for testing self-driving cars. it also has a thriving clean-energy scene, with 13,000 jobs in renewable energy industry.
“Pittsburgh is the example of why the Paris agreement is good for economic development,” Peduto said.