In December 2015, world leaders gathered in Paris and signed the first global commitment to keep warming to below 2℃ and to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy. The landmark agreement allowed each country to set their own emission reduction targets and to adopt their own strategies for reaching them. In June 2017, the Trump administration announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement, making the U.S. only one of three countries in the world that does not support the Agreement (the other two are Nicaragua and Syria).
In the absence of leadership from Washington, others, including states, counties, and cities, colleges and universities, businesses and investors—together representing a significant part of the U.S. economy—are stepping up, committing to ambitious goals to reduce emissions and working together to ensure that the U.S. remains a global climate leader. While there is no formal mechanism for sub-national entities to join the Paris Agreement, hundreds of mayors and city councils have already committed to honor and uphold the Paris Climate Agreement goals through tangible local-level action, including Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, as well as the mayors of Indianapolis, South Bend, Fort Wayne, and Bloomington, Indiana.
Accordingly, we, the citizens of Lake County, Indiana and the surrounding Northwest Indiana region, demand that the other Mayors and Town Councils of Lake County join other local leaders supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement by implementing a local Climate Action Plan:
- Develop a community Greenhouse Gas inventory (an accounting of the amount of total greenhouse gas emissions from all sources in the city over year);
- Set near- and long-term targets to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, while maximizing the economic and social benefits of such action;
- Develop a Climate Action Plan aligned with the city’s targets; and
- Resource city-led activities to demonstrate year-by-year progress.