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EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Economic growth intertwined with climate stewardship

Source: World Resources Institute | 28 March 2017

STATEMENT: Trump Executive Order a Sweeping Attack on U.S. Climate Action

According to media reports, President Trump will sign a sweeping Executive Order that rolls back many of the core elements of the U.S. climate strategy. The EO calls for a review of the Clean Power Plan, and overturns limits on coal leasing on public lands, methane regulations, and requirements to include climate change as part of environmental assessments, as well as calls for a re-examination the social cost of carbon.

During a media briefing yesterday the only study referenced to defend rolling back the Clean Power Plan was a NERA study which claims “40 states could have average retail electricity price increases of 10% or more.” This January WRI’s economist Noah Kaufman published research which found that the NERA study — funded by a coal advocacy group — lacked credibility and does not stand up to independent scrutiny. For example, in every case the study uses assumptions that deflate the expected growth in clean energy use and balloons projected costs for consumer electricity prices (read a short blog post about it here).

Following is a statement from Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute:

“The Trump administration is failing a test of leadership to protect American’s health, the environment and economy. It’s been shown time and again that sustained economic growth and national security are intertwined with good environmental stewardship.

“In taking a sledgehammer to U.S. climate action, the administration will push the country backward, making it harder and more expensive to reduce emissions. Climate science is clear and unwavering: mounting greenhouse gas emissions are warming our planet, putting people and business in harm’s way.

“The Clean Power Plan is a flexible and commonsense approach to reduce emissions from the power sector. It’s already helping to shift markets toward clean energy, which is good for the economy and American competitiveness. The administration should not be rolling back the safeguards that protect our air from methane emissions and limits on coal leasing on public lands. The administration is also wrong to withdraw support for local communities which need to be strong and secure in the face of rising seas, extreme weather events, and other climate impacts.

“The administration is out of step with U.S. companies, investors and consumers who want clean energy that is delivering jobs and revitalizing communities. Many governors and mayors will continue to embrace low-carbon solutions because it’s good for jobs, people and the planet. Republican and Democratic officials alike are committed to harnessing energy from the wind and sun because it’s good for their constituents. Hundreds of leading businesses are committed to reduce emissions and support climate action because it’s in their economic interest to do so.

“Around the globe, countries have committed to transition to a low-carbon economy that will make the world safer and more prosperous.”

“Make no mistake: This Executive Order will undermine people’s health and the U.S. economy. It hands moral authority and global leadership over to others, leaving America behind.”

Related resources:

  • Sam Adams shows how rolling back the Clean Power Plan will jeopardize public health and our climate security – but won’t bring back coal jobs.
  • WRI’s new fact sheet highlights seven key factoids on clean energy jobs in America, like how wind turbine technician will be the fastest growing job in America over the next decade.
  • Noah Kaufman explains why “social cost of carbon” is critical to sound policymaking and how it is routed in guidance put forward by Ronald Reagan.
  • Pruitt defended these rollbacks by saying American needs to be “pro-growth” and “pro-environment.”WRI expert Helen Mountford and others breaks down how climate action can be consistent with a “pro-growth” and “pro-environment” agenda.
  • Andrew Light and David Waskow explain how the negative consequences from rolling back climate action won’t be limited to America’s domestic policies – it will erode trust and American influence abroad as well.
  • Ranping Song highlights recent progress China has made towards achieving its climate targets under the global Paris Agreement.

Any opinions Expressed in "Executive Perspectives" are those of external parties and not those of Thomson Reuters.


Climate and Energy, Corporate Governance, Executive Perspective

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