Climate ChangeOpinion

Thank you Donald Trump

Yes, you read that right. I am thanking Donald Trump. Now before you take out your pitchforks and torches, hear what I have to say.

It’s no longer news that the President of America, Donald Trump, announced he would be pulling America out of the Paris Agreement (set out to reduce the world’s greenhouse gases emissions to 1.5°C) because it ‘wasn’t in the best interest of America’ to be in it. The stance of President Trump on climate change has been well known, but many believed his views would change in office. So the announcement wasn’t a major surprise.

In typical President Donald Trump fashion, news about his decision instantly went viral. And this is why I am thanking him, his announcement brought much-needed publicity to the issue of climate change. For a while, climate action and renewable energy took center stage (yessss) with many notable persons, organizations and world leaders entering and reaffirming their commitment to the cause.

More than 1,200 business leaders, mayors, governors have signalled their personal commitment to the goal of reducing emissions. The Mayor of Pittsburg, who was mentioned in the announcement by President Trump; blatantly pointed out that he and his state would go along with the provisions of the Paris Agreement.

Within the United States itself, many Mayors and Governors have decided to come together in support of the Paris Agreement. These 292 Mayors (yes two hundred and ninety-two Mayors) calling themselves the ‘Climate Mayors’ have pledged to work towards fulfilling the climate agreement.

In a joint statement, 3 US Governors released joint statements pledging to support the agreement forming the ‘United States Climate Alliance’. These are the governors of New York, Washington and California. They account for a fifth of the economy of the US. They have since been joined by 10 other governors across the US.

International Reaction

There were also statements from the General Secretary of the UN, António Guterres, the EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete and Special Representative of UN Secretary General and CEO Sustainable Energy for All, Rachel Kyte.

In my opinion, the most impressive statement came from the President of France, Emmanuel Macron. He initially rebuked Donald Trump, for pulling the US out from the climate agreement. Then invited engineers and researchers from the US to France, stating they ‘have a home’ in France. He didn’t stop there as on the 8th of June 2017; he made the invitation official inviting not only researchers and scientists but also entrepreneurs, students and entire organizations. Basically anyone interested in climate change. Simply go to www.makeourplanetgreatagain.fr and apply. The government says it will respond to submissions within a month.

Now if that isn’t impressive I don’t know what is.

The United States of America is the second-largest producer of greenhouse gases. In 2014, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions totalled 6,870 million metric tonnes (15.1 trillion pounds) of carbon dioxide equivalents. Accounting for 15% of the world’s total emissions.

So with the new flames set ablaze from the ‘unfortunate’ announcement made by President Trump, what do you think? Am I right in thanking him or not? Please let me know,  I  love to engage in discussions about clean energy.

Adedayo Ayo-Vaughan
Towards a clean energy future.