President Trump is a reality now.
Lets skip all the jokes and ironic gifs about this unpredicted results of the American Presidentials. They are first of all useless and disrespectful (although being funny).
What everybody should face now is: American people has gone through a democratic process and respectfully of that, we should now face their legal choice.
What could we ask ourselves is: what is going to be happening in the next four years?
Of course Steamgreen has been doing that under the environmental perspective, and it is going to introduce to you a brief overview of this political analysis.
An issue of discontinuity
Obama presidencies have both achieved undeniable results, environmentally speaking.
Last, but not least, is the signature and ratification of the Paris Agreement, that for the first time pledges US to slow down its GHG emissions and to put efforts into combating climate change.
But during the last 8 years major achievements have been committed:
- More than 260 acres of public land and water have been put under the status of “permanent protected lands”
- Released the most comprehensive report on the domestic assessment of climate change impacts and committed to provide a steady and continuous stream of information on the status of changes on the topic
- Set new efficiency standards or building and equipments (it has been computed that such measure would save 2 billion metric tons of carbon emission by 2030)
- Established (for the first time) limits on toxic air pollutants emitted by power plants
- Invested the largest amount of capital in the American history on clean energy (aka wind and solar energy technologies, carbon capture mechanisms and in electric batteries)
- Set carbon emission standards for power plants (which is US major emitter), again for the first time
These are just some of the informative data that can be found on the white house website.
They may not be the most effective environmental policy on earth, but what should be worrying most about these achievements is that they might be melt away with a big policy shift.
Lets be sincere: Hillary wasn’t a convincing candidate either, but Trump declared multiple times that man made global warming isn’t real, as he personally felt himself freezing in various locations.
Moreover very famous is his twit about his belief that climate change (aka the new name for global warming, as this concept wasn’t working anymore) is just a Chinese invention in order to gain commercial competitive advantage over the US.
And here comes the real problem: in 2009 he was one of the dozen business leaders signing a public ad published on the NYT supporting the Obama’s efforts combating climate change.
How come he changed his mind so rapidly?
An inexistent and inconsistent Plan
In conclusion: the future ahead of us is unpredictable.
Above all because, except for twitting controversial claims on established scientific findings, Trump has been totally neglecting the environment during his campaign. And one can remark major inconsistencies among different times and speeches and deeds.
Just a few facts that we know:
- He is a supporter of fracking as its leads to more jobs and business.
- EPA is a In his view, such institution comes with too many regulations that prevent businesses from doing business (as usual). So last year, he announced his willingness to cut funds.
- He is a supporter of fossil fuel extraction ( he referred in particular to shale gas and offshore oil drilling) while he stated that wind power is terrible, an unproven technology and a source of destruction. He stated he wouldn’t support such industry.
However in Iowa, he declared that he would provide subsidies to this sector (as it is relevant in the state). And he owns investments in a holding which is one of the major producers of renewable energy (NextEra Energy)
- He thinks climate change is very low on the list of the major global issues.
- He would be very comfortable cancelling the Paris Agreement
It will be at least surprising to see what is ahead of us.
What is certain is that although the winner hasn’t been focusing on the environmental policy, this aspect has been having a great influence on voters.
Forbes reported yesterday that it has been a “Green Trap”: Clinton’s open support towards climate change mitigation has been shifting away critical votes as environmental issues aren’t perceived as relevant by the average electorate. Poverty in America is growing and people want this question to be tackled with primary urgency.
Manufacturers’ states -such as Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan- feared the continuation of Obama’s policy as they are threatening commercial patterns.
Also agricultural states, which are relying on commodity prices, have chosen mr. Trump, reports the article.
So, environment was definitely part of the equation.
Lets see which sign will it be attached with.