How cities are affected by the federal climate report — and how they're fighting back

Williams said that spirit of cooperation will continue and have a positive legacy compared to the conversations at the national level of government.

"For the future, for all sorts of self-interested reasons, people are really pulling in the right direction on combating climate change," she said. "I just believe that what we're seeing from the federal government will be a very unfortunate blip in an otherwise promising trajectory."

And for cities, leaders said it also represents an opportunity to re-make their economies by moving away from fossil fuels and attract businesses involved in areas including solar and EV charging.