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  • Jeffrey Goldfarb

Paris Agreement Sans Government

Paris Agreement | Renewable Energy | Economy | Buffalo, NY | B Corp

The US Government has taken consecutive stances against the fight to slow down and reverse Climate Change. One of President Trump’s first fulfilled promises was to reinvest in coal, despite its negative health consequences and higher price than competitive energy like natural gas.[1] However, the market seems to have spoken. Despite pulling back previous regulations put in place by the Obama administration, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Deal over the Summer, 14 states are still on track to meet the Paris Climate goals.

The U.S. Climate Alliance was formed this year in response to the Trump White House decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Alliance’s mission is to maintain the 2025 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 26-28% below the country’s 2005 levels. There are 14 States in this agreement and Puerto Rico.[2] Though only 14 states they combine for the world’s third largest economy (40% of the US GDP) and hold residence to over one third of the US population.[3]

A September report found these States have not skipped a beat since the formation of the Alliance. They are still on track to cut greenhouse gas emissions anywhere from 24 to 29%.[4] The report states these 14 states have attracted over $100 billion in clean energy investments. They are getting these investments because renewables are a growing industry with an infinite life potential while fossil fuels not only create a number of negative externalities on health and the environment, but also have an expiration. When these 14 states include the use of nuclear and hydropower they exceed 50% of their electrical use coming from zero carbon emission sources.[5]

New York is one of the most ambitious states, targeting emissions 40% lower than our 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below our 1990 levels by 2050.[6] With the use of solar panels and wind energy, New York also hopes to be coal free by 2020.

While this is leaving a large impact on American greenhouse gas emissions it isn’t enough to curb the damage the current administration has done. Projections of global emissions are currently 16% higher by 2040.[7] One major factor being American and Chinese coal use. Despite both countries reducing the amount of coal they use, it still is not enough.

It really shows what sort of impact America has on clean energy in the world. With the 3rd largest population and the largest economy it cannot be stressed enough just how important it is for America to take a leading role on climate change. If we do not put renewable energy at the top of our economic priorities we risk the destruction of our economic status in the short term and the destruction of our planet in the long term.


The 14 States + Puerto Rico[8]:

California, ColoradoConnecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington

[1] https://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/articles/2017-03-09/abundant-cheap-natural-gas-is-the-real-reason-for-the-demise-of-coal

[2] https://www.usclimatealliance.org/reports

[3] https://insideclimatenews.org/news/21092017/states-paris-trump-climate-change-alliance-leadership-jerry-brown-cuomo-inslee-nrdc-2050

[4] https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5936b0bde4fcb5371d7ebe4c/t/59bc4959bebafb2c44067922/1505511771219/USCA_Climate_Report-V2A-Online-RGB.PDF

[5] https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5936b0bde4fcb5371d7ebe4c/t/59bc4959bebafb2c44067922/1505511771219/USCA_Climate_Report-V2A-Online-RGB.PDF

[6] https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5936b0bde4fcb5371d7ebe4c/t/59bc4959bebafb2c44067922/1505511771219/USCA_Climate_Report-V2A-Online-RGB.PDF

[7] https://insideclimatenews.org/news/14092017/eia-global-energy-forecast-world-renewable-gas-oil-emissions-thwart-paris-climate-accord

[8] https://www.usclimatealliance.org/reports

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