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Southfield stands by Paris climate agreement

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published June 20, 2017

SOUTHFIELD — Southfield city officials have announced that the city will uphold the regulations laid out by the Paris climate agreement.

At the June 12 City Council meeting, Mayor Ken Siver and Councilman Lloyd Crews presented a joint resolution to support the principles of the accord.

“I wanted to acknowledge that we had a number of people contact the city urging us to stay on the course of green infrastructure, green technologies, conservation, and so I’m certainly supportive of that,” Siver said.

In December 2015, representatives of 195 countries approved the Paris agreement, which aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change.

On June 1, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the accord, arguing that the agreement imposed unfair environmental standards on American businesses and workers.

Since the announcement, many cities have decided to independently uphold the agreement, despite Trump’s decision.

At least 61 U.S. cities have reportedly vowed to abide by the agreement, and governors from California, New York and Washington announced that they will form the United States Climate Alliance.

According to data accumulated by the National Weather Service, numerous Michigan cities had their warmest February temperatures on record this year, including Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Lansing, Muskegon, Saginaw and Bay City.

In Ann Arbor, for example, the city’s average temperature in February was 37.5 degrees — nearly 2 degrees higher than the old record from 1998.

“If left unaddressed, the consequences of a rising global temperature will have the potential to adversely impact all Americans, hitting vulnerable populations hardest, hurting working families and hurting productivity in the middle-class job sectors, such as construction, agriculture and tourism, among others,” Crews said at the meeting.

Supporters of Trump’s decision say the agreement will halt economic production.

“As president, I can put no other consideration before the well-being of American citizens. The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers — who I love — and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories and vastly diminished economic production,” Trump said during his announcement of the withdrawal.

Staff Writer Nick Mordowanec contributed to this report.