DC-area leaders committing to Paris climate standards

WASHINGTON — D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed an executive order Monday stating the District will adopt, uphold and honor the goals of the Paris Climate Accord days after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw. She was among several D.C.-area leaders committing to cutting carbon emissions.

“We frequently get frustrated with gridlock at the federal level,” said Bowser after a signing ceremony. “Or, in this case pulling back from commitments.”

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Bowser and nearly 200 U.S. mayors have agreed to address the effects of climate change while bolstering the growing green economy.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett on Monday pledged support for U.S. leadership in reducing carbon emissions, too.

“We take seriously the importance of increasing energy efficiency, growing renewable energy sources and reducing our greenhouse gases as much as possible. It is the right thing to do for our residents, our local economy and future generations and we will not waiver on our responsibilities,” Leggett said in a news release.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe also said they are committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan did not pledge his support. Hogan’s spokesperson noted that he signed legislation in 2016 aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Bowser said Trump’s decision to leave the Paris deal was not a surprise.

“I think it was very clear for the last several months that one of the values that we were going to have to stand up and protect and defend the most was our commitment to the environment, and fighting climate change,” said Bowser.

Bowser and Department of Energy and Environment Director Tommy Wells said the District has been investing heavily and planning to help create jobs, expand solar power, lower energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Not to just do what’s right for the environment, but what’s right for our bottom line,” Bowser said.

“We are looking to make sure our residents are healthy, and we’re investing in the types of programs and policies that will keep them that way,” Bowser said. “I’m elected to make decisions on the tax dollars that we collect from D.C. residents and businesses, and committing them to well-thought-out plans that help our city’s bottom line.”

WTOP’s Sarah Beth Hensley and Kate Ryan contributed to this report.

Hugh Garbrick

Hugh graduated from the University of Maryland’s journalism college in 2020. While studying, he interned at the Queen Anne & Magnolia News, a local paper in Seattle, and reported for the school’s Capital News Service. Hugh is a lifelong MoCo resident, and has listened to the local radio quite a bit.

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