Mississippi River Mayors Say Climate Change Is a Real Threat 

Mayors from across the country and up and down the Mississippi River (including Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland) vowed to keep working toward a clean future despite President Donald Trump's removal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement.

Trump said last week that the deal was a threat to the U.S. economy and its sovereignty. He said he planned to negotiate a better deal on climate change with other countries.

The decision quickly made ripples at home as mayors with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI) said they were "disappointed" in the decision and that it removes the U.S. from the negotiating table on the details of the program.

More specifically, they said rising waters in the Mississippi River would threaten $146.6 billion in agricultural products moved up and down the river each year. Strickland said $6.3 billion of those products move through Tennessee to U.S. and foreign markets, noting that the Port of Memphis is the second-largest on the river and fifth-largest nationwide.

But Strickland took a broader look at the issue of climate change in a Friday statement, saying he "supports responsible climate policy and the goals of the Paris Agreement."

click to enlarge The so-called Climate Mayors issued a letter in support of - the Paris Agreement.
  • The so-called Climate Mayors issued a letter in support of the Paris Agreement.

"In fact, the city of Memphis started taking action years ago on many of the items outlined by this group of mayors," Strickland said. "For instance, we've already completed a greenhouse gas inventory, and Memphis 3.0 will be working on a climate action plan."

On Thursday, a group of 86 mayors from across the country (who call themselves the Climate Mayors) issued a letter on Medium, saying "the president's denial of global warming is getting a cold reception from America's cities."

That letter said they'd push their own cities to increase investments in renewable energy, buy and create more demand for electric cars, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and more.

"And if the president wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we'll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks," the letter said. "The world cannot wait  —  and neither will we."

The letter was signed by the mayors of the country's biggest cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Boston. In Tennessee, it was signed by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. Regionally, it was signed by the mayors of New Orleans and Little Rock.

Meanwhile, Memphis Rep. Steve Cohen said the U.S. stood to save $5.3 trillion in health-care costs by staying in the agreement. Beyond the financial costs, the decision "could prove to be a calamitous decision to humanity."

"Without action, the continued effects of climate change will lead to increased instances of natural disasters, severe drought, and famine across the globe that could result in humanitarian crises and war," Cohen said in a statement.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said he talked to Trump's team "several times" last week about the decision.

"I appreciate the president's desire to renegotiate an agreement that is more in line with what is achievable in a manner that promotes an increase in the standard of living of American citizens and protects our environment," Corker said.

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Fun Money

      Locals, tourists invest in good times here.
    • Creative Process

      Memphis Brooks Museum of Art leader talks about the decision to consider leaving Overton Park.

Blogs

News Blog

Suit Targets 'Destructive' Drivers License Policy

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

mother!

News Blog

Supreme Court Steps In on Fayette Church Matter

Intermission Impossible

Muhammad Ali Meets Stepin Fetchit at The Hattiloo Theatre

News Blog

Task Force Considers Medical Cannabis

News Blog

Trolleys Return to the Tracks for Testing

Music Blog

Jessi Zazu: In Memoriam

Beyond the Arc

Deflections: The Roster, TV Angst, and The Buy/Sell Clause

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

The Vietnam War

We Saw You

Cooper-Young Fest, Big Bugs, Art of Caring

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Toby Sells

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation