As is well known, Trump loves to go on about how good he is with business. At the time of writing, he’s giving his first press conference in several months, and once again he said he’ll be the “best job creator”. As referenced by a new letter by many in the industry, there’s a problem with this.
Starbucks, Adobe, Adidas, eBay, Mars Incorporated, Nike, Gap, and even Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., along with over 600 other companies, have penned an open letter to the President-elect, imploring him to abide by the Paris Agreement. To do otherwise “puts American prosperity at risk.”
“We want the US economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy,” it states. Achieving this will “create jobs and boost US competitiveness.”
Far from just urging Trump to respect the rest of the planet’s wishes for the 2°C (3.6°F) global temperature rise limit, the companies write that they will do all they can in their own capacity to mitigate against dangerous climate change.
“We, the undersigned members in the business and investor community of the United States, re-affirm our deep commitment to addressing climate change through the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement,” the letter states.
As has also been correctly identified by academics, economists, and Trump’s immediate predecessor, climate change will – at its current rate – threaten the American economy in three different ways.
Firstly, the increased heat stress will cause people to become less productive, costing the US around $2 trillion by 2030. Secondly, increasingly powerful natural disasters will cause increasingly high value infrastructural damage to the US as time goes by. Thirdly, a refusal to invest in renewable energy and focus on coal – as Trump repeatedly insists that he will – will lead to job losses.
As clean energy becomes cheaper and continues to proliferate around the world, it will become rapidly less likely, if not impossible, that the flagging coal industry can be revived. Any attempt to swim against this tide, rather than encourage workers to move into the expanding renewable sector, is nothing short of an act of economic self-destruction.
The signatories of this open letter understand that, but it’s unlikely Trump – a man who has about as much respect for science as he has for women and minorities – will take heed. Apart from his own highly bizarre comments on the subject, his advisors have repeatedly claimed the science of it is nonsense.
You’ve also got the four horsemen of the climate apocalypse waiting to dismantle the Department of Energy, use the Department of the Interior to drill on federal land, break up the Environmental Protection Agency, and let fossil fuel interests potentially drive foreign policy.
Ho hum. Nice letter, though.