Trumping the precedent

Although President Donald Trump set a precedent of indifference to any climate change threat at the Paris Climate Change Summit earlier this year, cities across the United States have begun pledging for 100% renewable energy anyways. Even the entire state of Hawaii has planned to reach for 100% renewables, and with the most aggressive deadline to boot. They are aiming to not only provide renewable energy for all of the state’s utilities, but urge all forms of ground transportation switch to renewable fuel sources by 2045 as well.

Hawaii’s incredible display of renewable commitment aside, nearly 50 cities across the nation have pledged similar goals. Among them are big name destinations including New Orleans, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City. And it’s not just concern for public health that’s driving these announcements. In many cases, pressure from citizens to make energy access more affordable is a key determinant in making the switch to renewables. In Abita Springs, Louisiana, for example, a local committee discovered that installing solar-powered LED street lights could save the town more than $20,000 annually. Resulting in the quaint hamlet populated by 2,500 being the first Louisiana municipality to commit to 100% renewable electricity.

Last week an official in French president Emmanual Macron’s office said that Trump will not be invited to the December climate change summit. The meeting will convene in France’s beautiful capital city of Paris, and just about every country on the face of the planet has been invited. At this point, the only two countries who haven’t committed to the climate change agreement are the United States and Syria, a country beset by genocidal civil war.  

Macron’s news correspondent did mention, however, that the US may be invited at an office level lower than the presidency. Demonstrating that the world climate change officials consider the US “down, but not out” on coordinating with global climate change efforts. And as the list of cities across the nation committing to 100% renewable energy lengthens, there may still be a crucial part for the United States to play in curbing global emissions.

Written by: Chris Stomberg

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