It’s official. Donald Trump confirmed today that he’s pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
This means the US has joined Syria and Nicaragua as the world’s only non-participants in the Paris Climate Agreement – even North Korea is part of the agreement! And the fallout has already begun, with massive condemnation reverberating around the globe.
However, while the US is powerful and a large emitter, it is still just one country. Trump cannot stop the worldwide wave of global climate action. We’ve put together a guide why we’re still confident that climate action will triumph.
Five Reasons Why Climate Action Can’t Be Trumped
1. The Paris Agreement is global.
The US, though powerful and a large emitter, is still just one country. China, Germany, France, UK, India and over 147 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement and show no signs of backtracking.
2. Renewables are unstoppable.
Trump may favour fossil fuels, but he can’t beat economics. Solar and wind are now the cheapest form of new power in many countries, like Australia. Renewable power will continue to drop in cost as it continues to be dramatically scaled up. Just ask one of the countries capitalising on it – China. China will invest $360 billion in renewable energy through to 2020, creating 13 million more jobs in the process (1).
3. US states and cites are taking the lead.
US states are already leading on clean energy, including the Republican stronghold of Texas, and one of the world’s largest economies, California. Cities as diverse as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Houston and Chicago have all also been leading US action on climate change. Transforming the ways cities use and generate energy alone has the power to deliver 70% of the total emissions reductions required under the Paris Climate Agreement (2).
4. Leadership is also coming from the world’s largest companies.
95 global corporations (many of them based in the US) – including Apple, Coca-Cola, GM, Goldman Sachs, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Unilever, and even Walmart – have committed to 100% renewables in their operations (3).
5. The rest of the world is already responding.
The EU and China have just announced they will strengthen their climate ties. The EU has promised to give China €10m to rollout a national emissions trading system. This comes on top of indications they could levy ‘carbon taxes’ on US imports (4). International markets are also signalling this as a damaging move for the US, with US energy stocks taking a plunge. It is likely the U.S. will be the biggest victim of this decision, missing out on countless business opportunities and becoming increasingly uncompetitive.
The reality is that Trump cannot stop the global march towards clean energy. Trump’s reckless action should inspire us to keep pushing for the action on climate change we all know is required.
(1). “China aims to spend at least $360 billion on renewable energy by 2020”, New York Times, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/world/asia/chin…
(2) “Cities are in the frontline for cutting carbon emissions,” International Energy Agency, 2016, https://www.iea.org/newsroom/news/2016/june/etp201…
(4) “President Trump could kill the Paris Agreement – but climate action will survive,” The Conversation, 2017, https://theconversation.com/president-trump-could-…