Quebec politicians denounce Trump's decision to pull out of Paris climate change accord

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel try to stay positive, as Coderre points out many U.S. mayors continue to back the Paris deal.

Montreal City Hall lit up in green Thursday night in show of solidarity with international agreement

Montreal City Hall was lit with green lights on Thursday, June 1, 2017 after the United States announced its intention to leave the Paris Agreement on climate change. (CBC)

Montreal's mayor and Quebec's environment minister are expressing their disappointment at Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Tapping into the "America First" message he used on the election trail, Trump announced the withdrawal on Thursday, saying that participating in the pact would undermine the U.S. economy, wipe out U.S. jobs, weaken national sovereignty and put his country at a permanent disadvantage.

"Obviously, it's a very disappointing turn of events," said Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel. "We were hoping there would maybe be a last minute change of heart."

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said despite the president's decision, the mayors of many big American cities continue to support the accord. He says much of the population is also behind it.

"The important thing is to say that cities matter, and cities will stick together," said Coderre.

Thursday night, Montreal City Hall was lit up in green, in solidarity with the countries still committed to the Paris climate pact. On Friday, Coderre wore a green tie to symbolize his support.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre donned a green tie before addressing reporters on Friday. He said cities across the world are working in solidarity to curb climate change. (CBC)

Reasons to be optimistic

Heurtel is trying to remain positive despite the American decision to leave the accord, noting he'd prefer the U.S. leave the accord rather than staying in it and weakening it.

"If the U.S. has to withdraw, it's better to withdraw completely than be a negative influence," he said.

He said Trump's decision to pull out of the accord has worked as a mobilizing force in some American cities and states, such as California, Washington and New York states. Some of the mayors and leaders in those states have spoken out against the decision.

"We have a lot of momentum in the U.S. to continue the fight at the state and city level," said Heurtel.