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Obama to address gathering of mayors at Chicago climate summit

Obama to address gathering of mayors at Chicago climate summit
© Getty Images

Former President Obama will speak Tuesday at the North American Climate Summit (C40) in Chicago, where the former president is expected to thank a gathering of world leaders for their continued commitment to fighting climate change.

Obama will be introduced by his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and will address the gathering of more than 50 mayors who are dedicated to the ideals of the Paris Climate Accord.

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"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. 

The assembled world leaders are expected to sign the Chicago Climate Charter on Tuesday, an accord that aligns with Obama's signature environmental achievement: the Paris Climate Accord, which President Trump announced the U.S. would exit earlier this year.

Obama harshly criticized his successor for exiting the 195-nation agreement at the time.

"Even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got," Obama said in June.

In a statement, Emanuel said he was proud that the agreement to continue fighting climate change would be signed in his home city.

“I am proud to stand together with the leading global city climate networks including the Global Covenant of Mayors, Climate Mayors and C40 to take decisive action to improve our environment while bettering our communities, and that begins right here," Emanuel said.