Mayor Andy Berke plans to join in the commitment to honor and uphold Paris climate agreement goals.
President Donald Trump said this week that the United States would withdraw from participating in the Paris Agreement on climate change, which is a pact to "adopt green energy sources, cut down on climate change emissions and limit the rise of global temperatures," according to NPR.
The agreement also acknowledges the threat of climate change.
Berke said that Chattanooga—which was once dubbed the dirtiest city in the country—is now thriving, and that's been possible because leaders understood the importance of taking care of the environment and implementing long-term sustainability efforts.
"Reverting back to the Chattanooga of decades ago is simply unacceptable," he said in a prepared statement. "Chattanooga has a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental protections, and we will continue to push forward, regardless of the stance of the current president."
Chattanooga has worked to maximize sustainability efforts, he also said. For example, Chattanooga has made a commitment to reduce its energy consumption by at least 20 percent in the next 10 years.
He also mentioned sustainability work from local partners, including EPB, TVA and GreenSpaces, and said city leaders and community members understand the value of protecting physical assets for future generations, public health and economic growth purposes.
"Because Chattanooga has directly experienced the negative impacts of an ignored and depleted environment, I am committed to the goals and vision of the Paris climate agreement," he also said. "In Chattanooga, we will continue to focus our efforts on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging other entities throughout our city to do the same. Chattanooga is as beautiful as any place on God’s green earth, and we will keep it that way."
As of Thursday, 86 mayors, including those in Knoxville and Nashville, had signed a letter pledging to "intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target and work together to create a 21st-century clean energy economy."
Click here to read the letter, which begins, "The president’s denial of global warming is getting a cold reception from America’s cities."
Once the dirtiest city in America, today’s thriving #CHA was only possible b/c we chose to protect our environment. And we will continue— Andy Berke (@AndyBerke) June 2, 2017