KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero gave her support to the Paris Climate Accords after President Trump’s announcement of the United States withdrawing from the agreement.
Rogero joins 83 other mayors across the country in supporting the agreement. The agreement was created on December 12, 2015, to adopt green energy sources, and decrease climate change emission and the rise of global temperatures.
“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.”
Under the Obama administration, the country agreed to reduce emissions to 28 percent by 2025. The United States is the second-largest emitter of carbon, according to the Associated Press. The country joins Syria, Nicaragua and Russia in deciding to not be a part of the agreement.
Many have criticized President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement, including French President Emmanuel Macron. During a speech, the president stated “Make our planet great again” in reference to the U.S. president’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”
The mayor of Pittsburgh went to Twitter to voice his disagreements with the president. During his speech at the White House, President Trump stated, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto stated, “Fact: Hillary Clinton received 80% of the vote in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh stands with the world and will follow Paris Agreement.”
Stephen Smith with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy says the president’s decision will have little affect on East Tennessee, even for those in coal industry.
“We are moving as a nation and a world away from coal and I think we really need to be talking more about job retraining and newer technologies that we can use in the Appalachian region as opposed to misleading people that this political posturing is going to lead to new job growth,” said Smith.
Smith says he believes the president’s decision was more of a political stance than a decision that will affect the country directly.
TVA: Withdrawal won’t affect agency
TVA says president’s withdrawal from Paris Accord won’t affect the agency
President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Accord won’t have a direct impact for those who were already using cleaner energy sources.
Jim Hopson with the Tennessee Valley Authority says TVA’s transition to cleaner energy predates the environmental guidelines of the Paris Accord.
“TVA aggressively looked at reducing our carbon footprint over the last 15 years, in fact over 2,005 levels, we’ve already reduced the carbon output from TVA operations by over 30 percent and we’re on target to be at 60 percent by 2020,” said Hopson.
Hopson says TVA’s decision to stop relying on coal was not solely based on environmental factors.
“In the early 2000s we actually had nearly 60 percent of our generation in coal. We realized that was being too reliant on one particular fuel source that could be subject to any number of supplying or pricing changes.”
TVA is now focusing on what Hopson says are cleaner resources such as natural gas and nuclear power to provide low cost sources of energy.
“We’re going to stay on that course because we believe that is the course that allows us to insure a reliable cleaner source of electricity to the millions serve at the lowest feasible cost.”
Hopson says TVA will continue moving forward on its current path and the president’s announcement will not have an effect on the way they generate energy.