Jun 02, 2017

After a year of rare unity among 197 nations to pledge to reduce carbon emissions, President Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord. The implications of this decision will send shockwaves. It immediately diminishes U.S standing in world leadership.  The rest of the nations will move forward, solving the most pressing problem facing us today, while Trump continues to isolate the U.S from the globe.

Screen_Shot_2017-06-02_at_10.25.03_AM.pngWith the lack of leadership from Washington, D.C., the need to surge ahead is now larger than ever for the states. Renew Oregon is more committed than ever to ensure that Oregon stays committed to fighting for a clean economy and sustainable future. We want to send a message to the world that our state will move forward, switching to a clean energy economy and creating jobs while doing our part to save the planet.

The threat of climate change on Oregon farmers, families and communities requires urgent action. Renew Oregon is leading the work to pass the Clean Energy Jobs bill in the Oregon legislature. This bold climate protection policy will put a cap and price on climate pollution and use the proceeds to reinvest in our communities. Clean Energy Jobs bill will raise roughly $700 million per year to benefit communities across the state, putting Oregonians to work by making clean power like solar even more accessible, improving energy efficiency in homes and businesses to save people money, building affordable housing near transit and investing in more transportation options.

The lack of Trump’s willingness to cooperate on such an important issue is unprecedented. This action serves as a direct rebuke from the previous administration which led the way to bring the Paris Accord to fruition. The selfishness of this administration clearly demonstrates its willingness to go against the majority of public opinion.

In a national poll taken by Yale Program on Climate Communication found that 7 out 10 Americans support staying in the Paris Accord, including some of Trump’s own supporters. Even Trump’s own cabinet appointees including Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, (a former ExxonMobil executive) has pleaded for Trump to stay in the accord. As the world’s current second largest polluter and historically the largest, it's easy to see how most of the climate change burden weighs heavily on our shoulders.

Some groups have already responded. Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has immediately started forming a coalition Includes states, universities, and business to stay on the Paris Accord. The group is currently in negotiations with the United Nations to reaffirm their commitment. The group includes 30 mayors, 3 governors, 80 universities, and over a 100 business around the U.S.

Despite Trump’s decision, the green economy’s foundation has already taken root. Renewable energy is increasingly becoming more popular. A report conducted in collaboration with the Meister Consultant Group and the Environmental Defense Fund show that in 2016, solar employment opportunities grew 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S economy. In the 2016 National Solar Jobs Census report found an increase of over 51,000 solar related jobs were employed resulting in a 25 percent increase in the job market. However, the wind power industry is currently the most aggressive employer with wind turbine technicians currently the fastest growing job in the U.S. All the evidence points to renewable energy industries continuing to grow while traditional forms of energy such as coal is dramatically decreasing. If the president was serious about stimulating job growth than he would remove his blinders and be open to all forms the energy economy.