On June 1, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement. The agreement was signed by the United States on April 22, 2016, ratified on September 3, 2016, and entered into force on November 4, 2016. Its goal is to combat climate change and to deal with its effects.
The exit has proven divisive, with traditional party lines somewhat blurred. There are Republicans who are opposed to the exit and Democrats who support it. Despite withdrawal from the Paris Agreement at the national level, several mayors and governors remain committed to the Paris Agreement. There has also been a strong negative response by the private sector. Prior to the withdraw, on May 10, 30 CEOs wrote an open letter to President Trump stating their support for the Paris Agreement. These companies included 3M, Coca-Cola, DuPont, General Electric, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Disney. Apple CEO Tim Cook maintains that the U.S. should have stayed in the Paris agreement, and even went so far as to attempt to convince the President of this. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk left the President’s council when the news of withdrawal broke.
Kansas City is also not ready to give up the Paris Agreement. Mayor Sly James signed an article on Medium, along with 245 other U.S. mayors, stating that they "will adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement."
Public and private opposition has also united in the form of the "We Are Still In" campaign. Supporters of this campaign include cities, counties, entire states, higher education, and businesses. This coalition "declared their intent to continue to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions." Kansas City may count itself among the ranks of cities represented by "We Are Still In," with Mayor Sly James affirming his commitment to the Paris Agreement.
New York Times
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
We Are Still In
Jake Janeiro is a senior at the University of Kansas and is majoring in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations.