Obama to address gathering of mayors at Chicago climate summit

Obama to address gathering of mayors at Chicago climate summit

"We sought to set ambitious climate targets globally", the former president told the summit.

"President Obama will drop by the North American Climate Summit in Chicago this afternoon, where he will give brief remarks to thank the leaders gathered at the summit for their ongoing work to combat climate change", read a statement from Obama's spokeswoman.

Obama also met with former French President Francois Hollande, who said in a tweet that climate change was among the issues they discussed nearly two years after they both signed the Paris agreement.

The mayors of the U.S., Canada and Mexico were convened to commit themselves and their cities to "moving forward with significant emissions reductions regardless of action taken by their respective federal governments".

Earlier, Obama also discussed climate issues with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

The list of confirmed attendees includes British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy as well as around 10 African heads of state and leaders from under-threat Pacific islands, the French presidency said.

Emanuel and other Democratic mayors are forging their own policies on climate in the wake of the Trump Administration pulling out of the Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse emissions.

Chicago's Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Wheat says the idea is to "fill the void" the Trump administration has left. Some mayors have specifically agreed to commitments to expand public transportation and invest in natural climate solutions such as tree canopy and vegetation.

Emanuel said Trump and his environmental officials are in denial on climate change.

Mayors from 51 cities around the world attended the event.

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