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Opinion: Trump’s Triumph and Climate Change

Author | 12/02/16

Climate change has been a pressing issue coming into the 2000s, with countless local and global efforts taken to reduce the catastrophic effects of this problem. The Obama Administration has taken several steps in the right direction to reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources which would definitely benefit our planet in the long run. However, Donald Trump’s surprise win means that climate change budget may be reduced dramatically. How will America’s stance on climate change shift over the coming years?

Let’s start by discussing the praised efforts of the Obama Administration with regards to combating the devastating potential effects of climate change. Obama’s two main energy acts, the Clean Energy and the Recovery Act, both include creating new "clean energy" jobs and technologies, making America more energy independent, and reducing carbon emissions ( In 2009, over $80 billion in clean energy investments were provided by the Clean Energy and Recovery Act. These investments were mainly in renewable energy, funding local energy projects and training people for green jobs. Additionally, carbon tax on industry was increased, resulting in fewer pollutants in the air. Although the benefits of the act aren’t always noticeable, the fact that non-renewable resources are conserved is a definite plus for the environment.

However, the political environment may soon take a massive U-turn, eliminating the steps that are currently being taken to make America more environmentally friendly. Our President-elect Donald Trump believes that climate change is a “hoax” and plans to withdraw from the Paris (Climate Change) Agreement, a plan ratified by 112 countries aimed at keeping the global average temperature from increasing by 2 degrees Celsius (The Verge). Trump tweeted “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing less competitive” (Twitter) . Trump claims that this was a joke, however, he believes that the effects of climate change are not adverse (CNN). Many say this is because he wants to keep the hundreds of thousands of US jobs which are centered around manufacturing and are dependent on large amounts of fossil fuels. If energy policy tightens, those currently employed will be at risk of losing their jobs.

Barack Obama is doing all he can in his last few months as president to make sure America is in the best place in terms of minimizing the adverse effects of climate change. America currently emits 15% of global CO2 emissions, and having Trump as commander-in-chief will, if anything, increase that number. So what impact will this disregard to climate change by the Trump Administration have for America? Only time will tell. Our best bet to make America great again is to bank on Trump’s recent changing views.

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