After waking up and reading the news of Trump walking away from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement it was difficult to see anything positive that could come from such an action. But what if there are positives to be found?
Trump made no secret of his plans to exit the Paris Agreement throughout his campaign. It was just hoped that he could be persuaded otherwise once he was sworn in. After the announcement, a number of advisors to Trump who were hoped to be these persuasive voices have resigned.
As the second biggest carbon emitter (behind China), having the USA as one of the signatories seemed a hugely important step to reducing the human effect on the climate.
So what good can come of Trump exiting the Paris Agreement?
Since the announcement, nation leader after nation leader has come out against Trump’s decision. Some of the biggest emitters like China and India have said that they’re disappointed. European leaders have also followed; the new French President coined the phrase ‘Make our Planet Great Again’. Promises were reiterated to continue the promising work being done to reduce emissions that perhaps now becomes increasingly important without the USA agreeing to targets. Just because the USA Government have left the Paris Agreement doesn’t mean that American businesses, Cities, and States will give up on the goals made in 2015. California, as a very progressive State, has signaled its intention to continue as it is regardless of the President’s position. The City of Pittsburgh which was questionably used in Trump’s speech announced that it would continue with the goals set out in Paris despite this setback.
Even with a business background, the decision to leave is a bad one for America. The cost of renewable energy (solar and wind) is the same price as conventional oil and reducing very quickly. Shale businesses are defaulting and declaring bankruptcy at an alarming rate, yet that is still considered to be a ‘shale boom’. The economic argument for fossil fuels is quickly evaporating and it will make renewable energy the more attractive form, not just for its cleanliness.
Regardless of what Trump does in regards to pulling out of the Paris Agreement or with climate change policy, countries and international businesses all over the world will continue to adapt to climate change. The rejection of the clear science will set the USA far behind many other nations in adapting to clean energy production, and President Trump will soon see that during his presidency