Modified: June 2, 2017 3:06pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz today issued his 17th Executive Order in the wake of yesterday’s White House announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement (“the Agreement”). Despite overwhelming international scientific consensus on the dangers posed by the continued buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, along with the threat this presents to the economy and environment of the United States, President Trump has indicated that the United States will join Nicaragua and Syria as the only three countries in the world not included in the Agreement. Recognizing that leadership on this issue is sorely lacking in Washington and that residents expect elected officials to act in the best interests of their constituents, Poloncarz’ Executive Order calls on the county departments of Public Works and Environment and Planning to prepare an initial energy usage plan for Erie County to implement the United States’ target contribution to the Paris Agreement. This includes achieving a county-wide target of reducing Erie County’s greenhouse gas emissions by twenty-six to twenty-eight percent (26-28%) below 2005 levels by 2025, along with making best efforts to reduce emissions by twenty-eight percent (28%) as it pertains to the production and/or use of greenhouse gases Erie County.
“The White House has abdicated its leadership position in America and across the globe. Today Erie County is proud to join municipalities across the U.S. who are standing up for what is right and acting to protect future generations of Americans,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “The Executive Order I am issuing today reaffirms that Erie County understands the very real threat posed by climate change and, in contrast to Washington, is taking steps against that gathering threat. Climate change is real and must be addressed. Rising winds and waters, stronger winter storms, and more disruptive weather events are coming and will not be stopped by failing to reduce our carbon emissions, as is proposed by the president. Protecting the only planet we have is not a political issue. Some of the first and most important environmental laws passed in our country were signed into law by Republican presidents like President Nixon and President Ford. The next generation of county residents and Americans, as well as generations yet unborn, need us to act on this issue and Erie County today joins many counties and cities nationwide who are working to protect the future of our great country.”
The Executive Order can be read here.