City officials from around the U.S. and around the world on December 5, 2017, signed the Chicago Climate Charter at the Inaugural North American Climate Summit. The mainstream media puts the number of city mayors that signed the Charter at “dozens” and “more than 50.” A count of signatures on the Charter posted by the host Mayor Rahm Emanuel shows 64 signatures. The media says 36 of the signatories were U.S. mayors.
Sixty four out of 4,416 cities in the world is 1.45% (assuming “city” means jurisdictions housing 100,000 or more residents). That’s not much. However, 56% of U.S. signatories might be sufficient for what could be the Charter’s objective.
The Charter’s objective is for cities and regions to continue working on commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement, even though the U.S. withdrew from the Agreement. Just Vote No discussed why President Donald Trump did not renew U.S. participation.
Considering the fact that the U.S. is the only country at present not to be a participant in the Paris Climate Agreement, this Charter begs the question, why bother, if the other nations that do belong to the accord can carry on the work without the U.S. – or can they? Maybe it is not work that is needed but funding, otherwise called redistribution of resources from those according to their ability to those according to their need. Redistribution of wealth principally from the United States and the more affluent countries in the European Union to the poor countries was clearly spelled out in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Principals behind the Chicago Climate Charter are not U.S. city mayors simply wanting to ensure clean air and clean water for their jurisdictions, but global players, or in the case of California Governor Jerry Brown and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, global wannabes:
* Michael Bloomberg : Former mayor of New York City and now United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.
* The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy: An international alliance of cities and local governments with the objective of assisting jurisdictions to transition to low-emission societies.
* United States Conference of Mayors: Forum for city officials to discuss diverse challenges, but also founding member of the Global Parliament of Mayors.
* C40 Cities: Network of big cities committed to implementing measurable and sustainable action on climate change.
*Rahm Emanuel: Mayor, City of Chicago, host of the 2017 North American Climate Summit, where the Chicago Climate Charter was signed.
* Jerry Brown: Governor of California and founder with Michael Bloomberg of America’s Pledge, an initiative to quantify actions of U.S. states, cities, and businesses to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
If these players are so determined to carry on the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and one prerequisite of the Paris Agreement is for more affluent countries to fund the climate change initiatives of the less affluent, they will surely find a way. For example, the Global Covenant of Mayors partnered with the European Investment Bank and the World Bank Group,
Paris, France, 12 December 2017 – Today, at the One Planet Summit in Paris, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and World Bank Group, the world’s largest multilateral development bank, announced a new partnership to provide technical and financial assistance to 150 cities across the world undertaking aggressive climate action programs. The World Bank’s investment [loan] of $4.5 billion USD will ensure cities battling the increasing threats of climate change have the funding necessary to implement sustainable initiatives and climate resilience programs.
The lending will occur over the next three years under the umbrella of the World Bank’s City Resilience Program (CRP), and will draw on resources from IFC [International Finance Corporation] and MIGA [Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency] to provide financial and technical assistance to 150 cities, including current and future Global Covenant cities, to drive climate ambitions forward and upwards and build greater resilience to climate and disaster risks.
Let’s focus for a moment on the phrase “climate and disaster risks.” Governor Jerry Brown’s website mentions the Governor’s keynote speech on December 12, at the Two-Year Anniversary of the Paris Agreement:
Pointing to the state’s nearly year-round fire season – and the blazes still raging in Southern California – the Governor also sounded the alarm on the costly and destructive global impacts ahead unless we rapidly decarbonize.
More effective action would be for Californians either not to build homes right next to wild areas that have regularly gone up in flames for as long as history exists, or for conservation rules to allow for cutting down vegetation where Californians want to build houses. This NBC News image shows how close this beautiful home is to the dense vegetation in the background.
The same can be said for building in floodplains. Floodplains will not move or disappear when we all “decarbonize.” They will stay where they are and keep flooding. And folks will keep building homes in them. This map shows the blue areas of flood risk, all populated.
Weather.com makes an interesting observation regarding the flood zones, “Politicians appear to be supportive of this new development despite the inherent risks of building on a floodplain.” Intriguing. Cui bono – who benefits?
We should always keep in mind that government’s only source of funds is the taxpayer. Any redistribution of funds is redistribution from a taxpayer’s pocket to someone else’s pocket. Therefore, if you feel “climate crisis” is the cause of lives and property tragically lost in California’s fires or Houston’s floods, we are certain you will gladly pay any additional taxes that result from efforts to “rapidly decarbonize.” Otherwise, you can Just Vote No on “decarbonization” funding.