Obama: Curbing Climate Change Should Be 'Obsession For Us'

Obama expected to address mayors' summit on climate change

Obama expected to address mayors' summit on climate change

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

He said it was an "unusual time" with the U.S. as the only country to walk away from the Paris agreement, but it was a chance for local leaders to come together and fulfill promises the country has made. The U.S. won't technically back out until 2020 because of legal technicalities. "Ultimately the work is done on the ground", Obama said.

Obama and Emanuel, Obama's first chief of staff, are pressing ahead to combat climate change as President Donald Trump is dismantling Obama-era climate policies. The Paris accords set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting the rise in average global temperatures.

The Paris summit follows another high-level gathering on climate change in the German city of Bonn last month where around 25 heads of government met, including Macron, who called climate change "the most significant struggle of our time". It also calls for them to work with scientific and academic experts to find solutions. He says mayors will sign a charter and discuss solutions including expanding access to public transportation. The Republican has said the terms of the agreement should be more favorable to businesses and taxpayers. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said city residents will be the victims if action isn't taken.

"Climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it", said Obama, who noted that his administration's effort to deal with the issue "wasn't because of some ideological notions about the environment".

The list of confirmed attendees includes British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy as well as around 10 African heads of state and leaders from under-threat Pacific islands, the French presidency said.

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