On 1 June 2017, the world held its breath to hear what American President Donald Trump would say, anxiously awaiting the official decision, so often rumoured and delayed, that the United States was to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. We now know that this madness was no mere rumour. But let’s look at the evidence. With his approval rating at rock bottom, Donald Trump was seeking to reassure his own electorate of his ability to implement his campaign pledges and to adopt once again the stance that won him the election last November: that of a man who can single-handedly go against the international community in defense of “American interests”.
But Donald Trump’s announcement is that of an isolated man, and goes against the opinion of most Americans. A Harvard University survey published in April 2017 showed the majority of the population was in favour of the Paris Agreement. His decision also runs counter to the interests of American companies and states, whose climate commitment has been evident since Trump came to power. Moreover, this is a move in the opposite direction of the rest of the world, which remains fully committed to fighting climate change.
The fact is that Donald Trump’s announcement defies all reason and makes no economic sense. Indeed, we know that green investments offer strong opportunities for growth for the G20 countries, and that renewable energies are becoming ever more competitive. We know too that companies throughout the world are increasingly aware of the direct risk that climate change represents for their companies and their operations.
The worldwide climate momentum will prevail. Without wishing to be overly optimistic, we are convinced that citizens, companies and territories will be impelled to intensify their efforts in response to Donald Trump’s announcement. Statements from heads of state, business leaders, researchers and officials all over the world indicate that this is indeed the case. EcoAct will continue, with more conviction than ever, to help leaders translate these statements into action.