|Whether by coming together in the People's Climate March or by taking distributed initiatives throughout thousands of communities, the people of this country are demonstrating their demand that we protect our home planet and their resolve to build a sustainable future. (Photo: Elizabeth Stilwell)|
DANA DRUGMAND FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord is decisively a mistake, but it is should not be characterized as the end of the world or as an indication that climate action in the US is dead. If anything, it may catalyze a surge of grassroots, sub-national resolve to tackle the greatest challenge of our time. We've already seen seeds of resistance sprouting in the era of Trump, from the Women's March to the backlash against the Muslim ban, and we can expect the same response to the new administration's hostility towards climate action and clean energy. Here are five reasons we should not despair over the Paris announcement:
1) Clean Energy Is Unstoppable
In the US and around the world, the clean energy economy is accelerating, creating millions of jobs while slashing consumer energy bills. This is the next industrial revolution. Although Trump's decision gives other nations an edge in this revolution, it won't stop the clean energy boom here. That train has already left the station. Solar power now employs more Americans than coal, oil and gas, with solar adding jobs at a rate 17 times faster than the economy as a whole. Solar is also the cheapest form of new electricity, and energy efficiency is the most cost-effective investment overall. No presidential proclamation can reverse this trend.
2) Cities and States Are Stepping Up
In the absence of federal leadership, states and municipalities are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to climate change. Over two dozen cities have formally committed to achieving 100 percent renewable energy, and many more are committing to taking affirmative climate action. In March, a coalition of mayors representing 75 US cities sent a letter to President Trump, stating “Climate change is both the greatest single threat we face, and our greatest economic opportunity for our nation. That is why we affirm our cities' commitments to taking every action possible to achieve the principles and goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and to engage states, businesses and other sectors to join us.” State leaders are making similar commitments. Shortly after Trump's announcement, the governors of Washington, California and New York made their own announcement of a new state coalition called the United States Climate Alliance, which will convene states that are committed to honoring the Paris Climate Agreement.
3) Businesses Are on Board
Calls of support for the Paris Agreement have also come from the private sector. Some of the US's largest companies -- from Apple and Google to Morgan Stanley and Microsoft -- wrote to Trump in an attempt to sway his decision. Many US corporations are further pledging to go 100 percent renewable in their energy sourcing and take other steps to address climate change.
4) Courts Could Intervene
Green groups have already filed multiple lawsuits challenging Trump's anti-environment and anti-climate agenda. One of the most interesting and promising suits (filed before Trump took office) is the Our Children's Trust case in which 21 youth plaintiffs are taking the federal government to court alleging constitutional and public trust violations over decades of exploiting fossil fuels and failing to address climate change. The case, Juliana v. the United States, is currently in the stage of preparing for trial.
5) Citizens Are Rising
In addition to nearly all other countries that remain committed to climate action, a majority of US citizens have signaled their support for the Paris Agreement. Whether by coming together in the People's Climate March or by taking distributed initiatives throughout thousands of communities, the people of this country are demonstrating their demand that we protect our home planet and their resolve to build a sustainable future.
Please go here for the original article: http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/five-reasons-to-remain-hopeful-following-trump-s-decision-to-ditch-the-paris-agreement