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Many Local Communities Moving Forward With The Paris Climate Accord

“I believe the President hurt our country and the world by withdrawing from the Paris Agreement,” said University City Mayor Shelley Welsch. Photo credit: West End Word.

“Since we won’t act globally, then it’s time for us to act locally.” That’s the mantra for area residents who do not believe opening old coal mines is the answer to job growth – or the way to address the global warming crisis.

Not long after our President nixed America’s lead role in the global Paris Agreement for combating climate change, my work computer lit up with emails like a Christmas tree – full of LEDs. The messages were about enlisting local mayors to take up the challenge of sensible environmental and sustainable energy policies.

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

One area resident who took up the cause, Crestwood’s Janet Hanewinkel, said she has contacted Mayor Gregg Roby and plans to talk to aldermen.

If Roby would sign onto the Paris Climate Agreement Goals, he would join more than 300 mayors representing more than 70 million Americans. These mayors agree to establish local climate goals and to work to create a 21st Century clean energy economy.

“I do not agree with withdrawal from the Paris Accord,” Roby told the Times. “However, I do believe this is a national issue and municipalities like Crestwood are dealing with their local conditions and situations effectively.”

Anne Marie Bailey did not have to use her powers of persuasion to get her Maplewood mayor on board with the Paris climate goals. The mayor and council approved a commitment last week to the climate change agreement, in spite of President Donald Trump’s assertion that the climate change issue is simply “a Chinese hoax” to de-industrialize America.

“To their credit, Mayor Greenberg and Councilman Faulkingham had already resolved to support the Paris Accords by the time I communicated with them,” said Maplewood’s Bailey.

University City’s Shelley Welsch is another mayor who did not need a lot of persuading to sign on the green line for addressing climate change

“I believe the President hurt our country and the world by withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. I am grateful to states like California, New York and Washington, which immediately picked up the U.S. mantle and are now leading this country in a continued commitment to the Paris Agreement,” Welsch said. “With their leadership and the commitment of elected leaders around the country of all political persuasions, the U.S. will live up to the goals of Paris, even if our President will not.

“Our community continues to do what it can to become sustainable. President Trump’s action does not affect our commitment to protecting the climate,” Welsch added.

Other mayors who have made the commitment in this state include those in St. Louis, St. Peters, Kansas City and Columbia. Kirkwood is there in spirit, if not by the letter.

Kirkwood is well along the path to a climate-friendly, renewable energy future. Mayor Tim Griffin has been advocating for the Green Belt Express. That’s a new wind-energy transmission line that would bring green, low-cost energy into his Greentree City.

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