Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero is among dozens of mayors across the country committing to upholding the Paris Climate Accord despite President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement.
Trump announced his decision to pull the U.S. out of the climate deal on Thursday. Trump said he is still open to negotiating "an entirely new transaction."
Rogero is among a group of at least 86 "Climate Mayors" who have signed a statement expressing their commitment to the Paris climate deal.
Rogero also issued a statement Friday:
"The president's action takes us in the wrong direction at a time when almost every nation in the world has agreed on the need for climate action. Like mayors in cities across the country, I will maintain Knoxville's commitment to reducing our carbon emissions and promoting sustainability in all of our operations.
“In Knoxville, we have previously committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from City of Knoxville operations and our community by 20 percent, when compared to 2005 levels, by the year 2020. We will exceed our municipal emissions goal by retrofitting the City’s street lights to LED technology in the coming year. This investment will pay for itself in less than a decade and is projected to save the City more than $2 million annually.
“At the same time, projects such as the Knoxville Extreme Energy Makeover (KEM) program and investments in sidewalks, greenways, and transit help reduce emissions from our larger community while also improving quality of life for our residents and helping to create economic opportunities.
"Protecting the climate is not a choice between our environment and our economy. As we have shown in Knoxville, we can strengthen both while making Knoxville a better community. No matter the attitude of the president, we will continue to advance our local values by upholding the principles and commitment of the Paris Agreement."
You can see more about the mayors' stance here.
"We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy," the mayors' statement says. "The world cannot wait - and neither will we."