Cities Condemn President Trump’s Decision to Withdraw from Paris Agreement

June 1, 2017 - (3 min read)

WASHINGTON — June 1, 2017 — Today, America’s city leaders issued a strong condemnation of President Donald J. Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The agreement, which was supported by the National League of Cities (NLC) and is signed by nearly 200 nations, was created to limit greenhouse gas emissions and combat rising global temperatures. NLC led the largest delegation of city leaders at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where the climate agreement was adopted. Following today’s announcement, NLC President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland, released the following statement:

“President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement is a flagrant disregard for the safety and prosperity of American cities who are already dealing with the devastating effects of climate change.

“With or without federal support, local action is being taken to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and create a more sustainable future. More than 130 U.S. cities have signed on to the Compact of Mayors, committing to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change and publicly track their progress. 

“City leaders are on the front lines of the fight against climate change, and are taking actions to reduce greenhouse emissions and prepare our communities for the future. Norfolk, Virginia, is building resilient infrastructure to combat rising sea levels. New York has a public health plan to help residents cope with extreme heat. And cities like Riverbank, California, are adopting smart water meters to help residents conserve water and protect against the effects of drought.  

“We need the federal government to partner with cities to help us preserve clean air, clean water and clean land. However, the president’s decision undermines these goals and imperils the health of our citizens and our environment. Cities will continue to advocate for ambitious policies that address this global crisis, and will lead by example at the local level.”

More than 70 local leaders have signed onto NLC’s climate action letter to President Trump, urging the administration to embrace the principles of the Paris agreement. Join city leaders responding on social media by using the hashtag #Cities4Climate.

Update: Yesterday, on November 4, 2019, the Trump Administration announced that the U.S. would be officially withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. 

NLC President Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Indiana released the following statement on behalf of the National League of Cities. 

“Every day, our residents and communities are feeling the impacts of climate change. Yesterday’s announcement that the Trump Administration is officially withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement will undermine critical goals and necessary actions to reduce carbon emissions. Local leaders remain dedicated to combating the effects of climate change, and we are confident that doing so will benefit the health and economic future of American communities. Cities, towns and villages always lead by example – climate action is no exception.” 


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.