In response to the Thursday (June 1) announcement by President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the landmark Paris Accord, California Governor Jerry Brown confirms the state will remain committed to reducing greenhouse emission levels in accordance with the pact.
This marks a formal stand by California against the decision of the President and an affirmation that state residents, businesses, and corporations will remain devout to clean energy initiatives and retrofits. California now joins New York and Washington state as members of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a collection of American states that will uphold the Paris Accord.
Brown called the decision by President Trump “insane” and “deviant” when vowing to continue working with over 200 nations toward a greener future. The controversial withdrawal was met with some excitement by the coal industry, but overall points to a lack of concern for major climate change and economic issues involved in moving toward energy efficiency as a nation.
All three U.S. Climate Alliance members already belong to a group of states around the world dedicated to clean energy and reducing carbon emissions. In addition, both governors of Connecticut and Virginia have also expressed interest in joining the coalition, with Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state proclaiming, “We governors are going to step into this cockpit and fly the plane. The president wants to ground it — we’re going to fly it.”
The Paris Accord commits all involved nations and states to decreasing pollution emissions by 1.6 billion tons by 2025, the United States being among the top three carbon emitters in the world along with China and the combined European Union. Under the alliance terms, California has agreed to reduce emission levels 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels, coupled with an existing state measure to cut emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels.
Primary concerns about the Paris Accord have been from the coal industry and Republican lawmakers who believe the drastic cut in carbon emissions and subsequent transition toward clean energy technology would create substantial job loss and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
In contrast, despite the job loss created by less fossil fuel power generation, recent statistics released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) show that the price fall in renewable energy has lead to an increase in solar and wind jobs. According to IRENA figures, “In 2016, solar was creating U.S. jobs at 17 times the rate of the national economy, rising to more than 260,000 jobs in the U.S. solar industry today. In the U.S. wind industry, now with over 100,000 jobs, a new wind turbine went up every 2.4 hours this past quarter.”
Furthermore, renewed tax credits for renewable energy and utility rebates for clean energy technology have made efficiency projects affordable, if not free. A bolster in the job market, as well as available tax subsidies, indicate that “going green” can actually benefit a state and its residents, so long as there is a concerted effort. In fact, the only job loss seen in renewable energy has occurred when governments remove initiatives or measures to pursue clean energy.
Emilygrene Corp. stands with California and the Paris Accord to continue decreasing carbon emissions one step at a time. We are only greener together. As a business, as a member of the community, and as a leader in the green energy movement, we are proud to work with fellow California residents and facilities to pursue clean energy technology and carbon emission reduction. We hope you will join us in supporting the Paris Accord by researching clean energy in your area, staying informed, and being equally as proud to be green.