TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -In a meeting in the Belgium capital Brussels on Tuesday, Kasim Reed, the mayor of the southern US city of Atlanta, said that Republican and Democratic mayors from 300 US cities had unanimously agreed a day earlier to back the Paris Climate Agreement, disregarding Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the international pact.
Reed added that he wanted to send a signal of "optimism, passion, and action" on fighting climate change to mayors worldwide despite the withdrawal the US president announced earlier this month.
"President Trump's disappointing decision to withdraw from the agreement will actually have the opposite effect in terms of execution," Reed said in an address to a handful of mayors from Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, and North America in the Tuesday meeting chaired by top European Union and United Nations officials.
"Right now you have a level of collaboration and focus and sharing of best practices that I haven't seen," he noted. "What we did not have really was the level of cooperation, passion, and intensity until we saw our president's decision to withdraw.”
Gregor Robertson, the mayor of the Canadian city of Vancouver, said Trump should look north to see how voters in Canada had changed the political map of the country by changing leadership.
"The Trump administration had better watch out for US cities," Robertson said. "They're on the rise and I think will prevail in the end at turning the tide and making sure the US is a climate leader.”
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also announced a $200 million plan intended to support innovative policies in American cities.
Washington’s pullout from the Paris climate deal has sparked international outrage and led to massive protests within the US.