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[ Paris Climate Deal: PA Cities say “We Are Still In” ]

President Trump may not be interested in keeping the United States in the Paris climate deal, but several Pennsylvania cities say they are.

Tuesday was called a “Still In” day of action, and rallies in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were among the hundreds held around the nation to show a commitment to meeting the standards to reduce carbon emissions by 2050. Sustainability director for the city of Philadelphia, Christine Knapp, said it’s time for Pennsylvania to move away from its history of dirty energy.

“We’re trying to change our future to one that’s more just and healthy and fairer and affordable for folks,” Knapp said; “one that really revolves more around clean energy sources that don’t contribute to carbon emissions and don’t contribute to air pollution. Having Pennsylvania take the stand is really important.”

More than 2,500 leaders representing businesses, colleges, cities and states have signed the “We Are Still In” declaration in support of climate action.

After Trump used the line of “Pittsburgh, not Paris” to justify the withdrawal from the Paris deal, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto vowed his city would be 100 percent powered by clean energy by 2030 and lead by example. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney made a similar announcement. And on Tuesday, Philadelphia also released a plan for how the city will meet the Paris climate goals.

“Residents, businesses, institutions, legislative bodies: This is a road map of options, of policy levers, actions that people can take to help us all move towards this direction,” Knapp said; “because the city can lead by example, but everybody has to take action in order for us to meet these ambitious goals. ”

Allentown, Ambler, Bethlehem, Easton, Ferguson Township, Lancaster, Swarthmore and West York Borough join Pittsburgh and Philadelphia as Pennsylvania cities that have declared a commitment to support local climate action in the absence of federal leadership.

-Mary Kuhlman, Keystone State News Connection

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