Obama expected to address mayors' summit on climate change

AP Obama Climate Change

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he's honored Obama will join the summit, which kicked off Monday evening and wraps up Tuesday.

Around 100 leaders were invited to what President Emmanuel Macron called the One Planet Summit in July following Trump's announcement that he would withdraw the United States from the agreement that has been signed by 197 countries and territories.

"But despite that, you're seeing American companies and states and cities continuing to work on this issue", Obama said.

The more than 50 mayors and global climate leaders converged on the city this week for the North American Climate Summit, part of a commitment to addressing climate change on the local level.

"[The] good news is the Paris agreement - it was never going to solve the climate crisis on its own", he said, adding it was going to be "up to all of us". The idea is to fill the void left by the actions of the Republican president, who has worked to reverse much of Obama's approach to foreign policy, Chicago officials said. It also calls for them to work with scientific and academic experts to find solutions.

Emanuel said Trump and his environmental officials are in denial on climate change.

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Macron has publicly disagreed with Trump about his stance on climate change and has lobbied him to reconsider his position and re-evaluate U.S. funding cuts for the UN's IPCC climate science body.

He explained mayors are stepping up because there's no consensus from national governments.

Other mayors attending include Valerie Plante of Montreal and Miguel Angel Mancera of Mexico City.

"Sheltering future generations from the ravages of climate change should be something of an obsession for us", Obama said at the event in Chicago's Streeterville district.

"We live in a time when everything is contested - and so often because of the splintering of our media, it is possible to only occupy a world in which the facts that come in conform to your pre-existing conceptions", he said.

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