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Boston, M.A. Climate Summit in Limbo

Categories: Awards

There has been a heightened sensibility since President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Plans for the 3rd Annual Climate Summit held in Boston, MA this year, are looking to be called off. Federal support for the event is being halted and previously involved countries, are ceasing communication with the United States. The Mayor of Boston, Martin J. Walsh said that, based on lack of federal communication, ‘it doesn’t seem like there is any interest at all to move forward’ with the summit. Climate change supporters however, are imploring the city to move forward with the event; they believe that now, is a more crucial time than ever. The summit was originally sponsored by the federal government to bring together thousands of leaders from around the world. It would have given Boston the opportunity to show its tenacious efforts to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. The rising sea levels are more directly affecting Boston’s waterfront where valuable real estate is being damaged overtime. The United States would have also been able to gain further insight on greenhouse gas reduction from its peers. Internationally, President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement has shifted the views of world leaders on the United States. World leaders have been vocal about their opinion of his decision to be irrational, inconceivable, and un-intelligent; this backlash leaves the United States isolated in the current political discourse involving climate change. The United States, Syria, and Nicaragua are the only countries that are not involved in the Paris accord.

Walsh has considered hosting an independent event, where funding will be primarily from donations. Former Senator and Secretary of State, John Kerry, may be joining the independent event to show his prolonged support for climate change action. Walsh has stated that the climate summit is still possible, but not likely to take place within the next year. The summit in its previous two years was held in Los Angeles in 2015 and Beijing in 2016. Although President Trump’s administration doesn’t acknowledge climate change as legitimate, many states are still in support of keeping the United States active. At the state level, governors, businesses, and universities are banning together to prepare a statement of support. They will submit this statement to the United Nations indicating how they plan to reach the carbon reduction goals put in place in the 2015 Paris Accord.