Yesterday we learned that the new President of the United States is to be Donald Trump – the candidate who called global warming ‘fictional’ and threatened to ‘cancel’ the Paris Agreement so many of us have worked hard to achieve. But is all lost for our transition to a low carbon global economy? We don’t think so.
The unprecedented international co-operation on climate change has seen a booming low carbon economy. Key points: renewables have overtaken coal, electric vehicles are the auto growth segment and ‘clean’ jobs are being created faster than any other. This is all happening globally and in the US.
Conservative strongholds and Trump states, such as Texas and North Carolina, are developing clean energy industries attracting new investment and jobs. They are unlikely to wave all that goodbye. In 2015, the clean energy industry brought $6.96 billion to North Carolina, boasting more than 26,000 full time jobs, 3,150 of which were created in 2015 alone. In Texas, more than 100,000 people are now working in the renewables sector. Of Trump’s voting public, 70% consider it a ‘high priority’ to cut greenhouse gas emissions with 40% of Republicans worried about climate change.
We don’t know yet how Mr Trump will act on climate policy, but we think the progress achieved to date is irreversible.
Contact Charlene Cranny at UKSIF for more information and resources around climate action.