On November 4, 2016, the historic Paris Agreement on climate change policy (#OurAccord) became international law. Four days later, on November 8, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. And overnight, the set of policies required to fulfil the promises of the Paris Accord was under threat as the world was about to lose one of its sponsors for these initiatives – the government of the United States of America. (1)
Three months later, on 28 March 2017, in the name of removing the job-killing orders by the previous administration, the White House issued an executive order on domestic energy policy that seeks to hobble or reverse some of broad set of climate and clean energy initiatives developed by the Obama administration, including an important component called the Clean Power Plan that would reduce emissions from electricity generation. (2)
The next four (or maybe eight) years will be a challenging time for advocates of global climate change, which will require the rest of the world to work harder to find alternatives to the counter-effort set by the new U.S. administration. These must not be based on the attitude of “they don’t fulfil the pledge, why should we?” but have to come from collective efforts made by governments, communities, and individuals who are upholding that climate change is the biggest threat to their survival.
On a personal level, each and every one of us can live in a greener, lower carbon-emitting way. The world may need our ideas more than ever, and by sharing ways to fight climate change on social networks, we may alleviate the consequences of ill-contrived political policies. This critical moment in time will test our resolve to commit to our convictions. Not doing so will cost us dearly in the future.
Written by Colina Tran.