2017 | News

Leggett Says County Will Stick to Paris Climate Accord Even if Trump Administration Won’t

County executive endorses open letter committing to emissions reductions

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County Executive Ike Leggett

Aaron Kraut

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett has joined more than 1,000 other public and private leaders from across the nation in pledging support for the Paris climate agreement, despite President Donald Trump’s recent decision to pull out of the accord.

“We take seriously the importance of increasing energy efficiency, growing renewable energy sources and reducing greenhouse gases as much as possible,” Leggett said in a prepared statement. “It is the right thing to do for our residents, our local economy and future generations and we will not waiver on our responsibilities.”

Along with Leggett, hundreds of mayors, governors, businesses, investors and educators endorsed an open letter titled “We Are Still In.” The letter posted online Monday condemned Trump’s move last week to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 agreement signed by 195 nations committing to reduce carbon emissions.

However, the letter stated that local and state governments and private groups can band together to fight climate change even without help from the nation’s leaders.

“It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities, investors and businesses,” the letter stated.

County leaders have taken a number of steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to a news release. They’ve added electric and hybrid vehicles to the county fleet and put solar panels on county buildings. The county also buys renewable energy. A push to encourage ridesharing, mass transit, cycling and walking are also part of the county’s commitment to shrink the county’s carbon footprint.