Following Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Accord, a number of US cities signaled their intention to symbolically join the agreement and demonstrate their commitment to avoiding more than 1.5 C warming. Cities have a unique relationship to global climate change as the historical locus of greenhouse gas emissions due to their central role in the global economy. The relationship between cities and greenhouse gases is a result of both industrial production as well as contemporary post-industrial economies driven by consumption. The relationship is scalar too: many cities are representative of both low carbon infrastructure as well as the displacement of GHG emissions ‘elsewhere.’ Cities are linked through chains of finance, the movement of goods, and the circulation of discourses. All these relationships matter for thinking about climate change through the city. Amidst these overlapping networks, the unifying factor is the sheer densities and connections present in cities: of people, of money, and of the infrastructures that, in part, form the city as a functioning assemblage.
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