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In the wake of the climate change agreement reached in Paris, has the Trump administration made its policy to cut back on overseas wind farms inevitable? This could be the beginning of a whole new era in climate politics. It’s not all doom and gloom however. Many of us really wanted to see action on climate change and some renewable energy jobs created. While I’m not surprised by the rapid action towards wind farms, there are still a lot of other clean energy jobs. There is no doubt that the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, we were finally getting the global strategy we have wanted since 2008. While the global agreement to cut back on fossil fuels is welcomed by many people, it won’t actually reduce the threat of global warming. Losing the US support does put a dent in the world economy, however global clean energy adoption will not stop because of the decision of the Trump administration.
It won’t stop at sending more dollars into the hands of powerful fossil fuel companies like Saudi Arabia. While it’s true that there are a lot of foreign companies that develop wind farms, it is largely because the Americans provide foreign companies with economic opportunities. While the US remains the number one country in terms of research in renewable energy, the Obama administration significantly ramped up US R&D and is well positioned to continue developing clean energy technology. We have excellent engineers in the US and the universities are highly qualified and the clean energy companies are in abundance. The US has never been much the region leader in energy technology and we will continue to be one. After having watched a several years of very poor renewable energy deployment as a result of the Obama administration’s heavy oversight, companies should have been looking at scaling up their technology and not taking the US of A off the table as a major market. As for those of us in renewables, our job now is to make sure that as a global community we ensure we don’t miss the opportunity to move forward in this clean energy sector.
By Lee Creighton