Paris Agreement | Environment | Energy | Buffalo, NY | Certified B Corp
It struck global Headlines when President Trump announced his plans to pull out of the Paris Climate Deal. Not long after the announcement, former Secretary of State John Kerry came out predicting the United States would still most likely achieve the goals laid out in the deal, despite Trump’s resistance. Cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City have all announced personal plans to continue combating climate change despite the federal government’s withdrawal. The goal of the agreement for the United States was to reach 26-28% of its 2005 carbon emission levels.
Initially reports of President Trump pulling out were met with mild hysteria on social media with accounts going as far as predicting the end of the world, but when looking beyond the hyperbole one can see very exciting things on the horizon for clean energy:
Researchers at Morgan Stanley now see solar and wind energy becoming the cheapest option. They are on their way to being so affordable that “not even politics can hinder them.” In fact, the firm predicts renewables to be the cheapest form of energy by 2020.
Since 2016 the price of solar panels has reduced by 50% and the cost of wind energy “can be as low as one-half to one-third that of coal- or natural gas- fired power plants.” Major oil companies are paying attention the trend and redistributing resources to maintain relevance. Last month (June) Shell announced plans to invest up to $1 billion into renewable energy.
It may be too late for those living in the energy past. No longer is clean energy seen solely as an alternative for political reasons. The markets have spoken and renewable energy makes fiscal sense. The private sector will continue to pursue the cheapest forms of energy no matter what stance the Trump administration takes.
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