Will He or Won’t He? Donald Trump and the Paris Agreement

Donald Trump has given mixed signals when it comes to whether or not the U.S. will stay in the Paris Agreement designed to address climate change at an international level.

November 28, 2016

The following blog is from Kim Glas, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance

On the heels of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco, President-Elect Donald Trump told the New York Times in an interview that he is willing to keep “an open mind” when it comes to the U.S. staying in the Paris Climate Agreement.

This statement represents a fairly significant deviation from his campaign’s previous positioning. Not only has Mr. Trump previously suggested that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, but he’s gone so far as to deny that climate change even exists.

This change of message reminds us that at one point, Donald Trump did actually believe in climate change. In fact, not only did he believe in climate change, but he called for legislative action to mitigate it. He’s also made business decisions acknowledging the impacts of climate change, like installing seawalls to protect his real estate investments from sea level rise.

So, which Donald Trump will we get in the White House?

Acting on climate change is not only critical for the survival of our planet and species, but a significant opportunity to create and maintain middle-class jobs. We are already on track to meet our commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and companies are already investing in a sustainable future and seek reliable, stable policy.

We hope for the latter. Acting on climate change is not only critical for the survival of our planet and species, but a significant opportunity to create and maintain middle-class jobs. We are already on track to meet our commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and companies are already investing in a sustainable future and seek reliable, stable policy. That’s why hundreds of U.S. companies have urged the U.S. not to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

We have the opportunity to establish a competitive advantage for U.S. industries and spur job creation and economic growth in our own country with investments in the infrastructure and clean technologies that will power our future. Now more than ever, the United States must continue to lead the world in this international effort to address climate change. An ambitious agenda that combines clean energy investment with a sound infrastructure, jobs and community resilience strategy is needed not only in the United States, but across the world.

trump-twitter-status

Yeah, that really happened.

Failing to address climate change on a global scale would be a tremendous missed opportunity to create quality jobs right here in the United States. Donald Trump has called climate change a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese to make American manufacturing uncompetitive. In reality, if America steps away from the climate fight and investing in clean energy, the technologies of the future won’t be made here in America. The international community has made clear in Marrakech that regardless of what the U.S. does, they are not going to slow down. Countries will continue to move forward with plans to decarbonize their economies and transition to clean energy. The leadership vacuum created by a U.S. departure will be filled by China and American manufacturing will become uncompetitive. But not because of China, rather, because of Mr. Trump’s policies.