Maplewood joins national movement to support Paris Climate Agreement

On July 24, the Maplewood City Council unanimously agreed to join about 360 other cities — including nearby St. Paul, Minneapolis, Falcon Heights and other Twin Cities suburbs — in support of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

This comes after President Donald Trump recently announced his plans to pull the U.S. out of the international agreement, which commits each participating nation to set and pursue goals to mitigate climate change.

Council member Kathleen Juenemann explained that there are many cities across the United States that are now sharing their support of the Paris Climate Agreement in response to the president’s withdrawal from the agreement.

The group, Climate Mayors, which is organizing the movement of cities standing behind the Paris Climate Agreement, commits U.S. mayors to strengthen local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support efforts for binding federal and global policymaking.

Maplewood Environmental Planner Shann Finwall explained during the meeting that this resolution “would commit the city to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through an implementation of a climate action plan,” something the city already planned to work on through the comprehensive planning process. 

Finwall said another way Maplewood will be working on its new commitment is by continuing to measure greenhouse gasses, which it has been doing as part of the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program.

“It also commits the city to exploring the adoption of policies and programs that promote the long-term goal of greenhouse gas emission reduction, while maximizing economic and social co-benefits of such action,” Finwall added.

Finwall said residents won’t see much of a change because Maplewood has already been working on the same goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, by way of the city’s involvement in other like-minded projects.

“Really this is very consistent with things the city of Maplewood holds dear and is currently undertaking,” Finwall said.

“It’s just a way for us to, I think, to state that we’re still in support of [the Paris Climate Agreement],” Juenemann added. “And we’re doing what we need to do to get there. We want to do that.”


—Aundrea Kinne

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