Dane County will stick to the terms of the Paris climate agreement, despite President Donald Trump’s pulling the United States out of the accord earlier this month, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Monday.
The county has already met the country’s previously agreed to goal of reducing 2005 carbon emission levels by 26 to 28 percent. Parisi said the county will continue to try to reduce carbon emissions, increase the use of solar and renewable energy and prepare for the impact of a changing climate.
“We can show other units of government and leaders in the private sector that we can make a positive impact on the government and at the same time saving dollars and improving the environment,” he said.
A recently created Office of Energy and Climate Change will work with a county climate council to identify ways for the county to meet, or exceed, goals of the Paris climate agreement, he said.
The announcement comes after Trump said this month that he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement that sought to limit the impact of climate change and minimize global temperature increases.
Trump said the deal was unfair to the U.S. and would result in lost jobs, lower wages and closed factories.
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But as of May more than 1,200 U.S. cities, counties, states, universities and businesses like Apple and Nike in the “We Are Still In” coalition have vowed to adhere to the provisions of the climate pact, saying that sticking to the terms of the agreement would create jobs and promote trade while reducing carbon emissions.
The agreement has been signed by 149 countries.
Elsewhere in Wisconsin, UW-Stevens Point and the cities of Milwaukee and Glendale have agreed to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord.
The Dane County Board will review a resolution affirming its support of the county’s move in the coming weeks.
Dane County will send a letter to the Wisconsin Counties Association this week to encourage other counties in the state to join the coalition or agree to meet goals of the Paris agreement.
With the state and federal government “putting their heads in the sand with climate change, it’s up to us at the local level to fight climate change and lead by example,” Parisi said.