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Keller signs onto Mayors National Climate Action Agenda

Mayor Tim Keller, joined by environmental activists and others, discusses efforts to address climate change at a Thursday news conference at the Open Space Visitor Center on the city’s West Side. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — President Donald Trump announced in June the United States would pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

On Thursday, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller joined hundreds of other mayors from around the country by vowing to adopt the agreement’s goals anyway.

“The absence of federal leadership … is really what is driving mayors to take a stand on their own all across our country,” Keller said, addressing a small group at the Open Space Visitor Center. “I’m proud to be adding Albuquerque’s name to that list of mayors who are standing up for what’s right when it comes to our environment and sustainability.”

Albuquerque is the third New Mexico city to join the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda; the mayors of Las Cruces and Santa Fe are already members.

Keller said the city’s participation will include taking inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, setting emission reduction targets and putting a plan in place to meet those goals.

City Councilor Pat Davis said the city is already on the “right path” toward reducing emissions as a resolution is on the books requiring city buildings and facilities to depend on renewable energy for 25 percent of their power by 2025.

Last year, councilors took the first step toward that goal by voting to install $25 million worth of solar panels on city buildings.

“It’s about looking at really innovative, aggressive policies that lower our (carbon) footprint,” Davis said.

The Paris Climate Agreement, criticized by some for being too lax, calls for countries to reduce carbon emissions in an effort to curb global warming.

Every nation in the world is party to the agreement, with the exception of the United States.