Aurora’s mayor cold to joining Climate Mayors as Trump’s Paris accord backlash gets red hot

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AURORA | In Aurora, actions speaks louder than accords.

At least that’s how Aurora’s Mayor Steve Hogan feels about Colorado’s third-largest city jumping on the Paris climate accord bandwagon.

“I tend to think that you accomplish more by doing things than simply signing up on a list,” Hogan said after being asked if Aurora will join about 900 cities nationwide — 10 in Colorado — a growing number of states and even a gaggle of attorneys general in signing onto the Paris accord after President Donald Trump said the United States would withdraw from it. “I would be willing to almost bet that 99 percent of those who sign up on the list really don’t know what the Paris accords really say.”

Denver, Lakewood, Boulder, Vail, Aspen, Longmont, Breckenridge, Edgewater, Lafayette and Telluride have joined the ranks of “Climate Mayors,” according to Medium.com.

For the record, Hogan, a Republican, actually can’t go one way or the other on taking an official position for the city without a city-council sanction. But he can speak for himself.

“On the personal side … I don’t sign up for very many things, unless it’s a personal, highest priority type of thing,” Hogan said. “And I don’t think this one falls into that category. I think this falls into the category of partisan politics.”

Very political. But it’s a political issue crossing party lines pretty fast. A growing number of high-profile corporate and political leaders have keenly criticized Trump for backing away from the accord.

Colorado engineering giant CH2M is talking Paris.

“We stand with our clients today by reaffirming our longstanding commitment to advance the aims of the Paris climate accord,” CH2M Chairman and CEO Jacqueline Hinman said in a statement this week.

Aurora does take the carbon-impact problem seriously, Hogan said.

“I’m more than willing to keep working and keep doing what I can do with the city to meet standards such as the one that Xcel Energy is working toward to get us to 25 percent of the energy that is produced is non-coal-based in the next 10 years,” Hogan said. “We try to do things … that actually make a difference rather than just signing on a piece of paper.”

“So, until somebody can sit down and tell me what every word of the Paris accord means, I’m not going to sign it,” he added. “It’s more valuable to … actually make a difference. I’ve got better things to do.”

Aurora Sentinel Reporter Quincy Snowdon contributed to this report.