A letter to Donald Trump as he decides on the Paris climate accord
Dear Mr. Trump,
You ran for president on a campaign to “Make America Great Again.” But withdrawing from the Paris agreement on climate change, which was signed by 194 out of 196 nations around the world, will not make America great – it will make China the world leader on climate.
Renewable energy will power the world’s future, and China is winning the race for renewable energy. China already manufactures 2/3 of the world’s solar panels, and has installed a total of 77 GW of solar – nearly double the amount of solar the US has installed. While you sign executive orders to block the Clean Power Plan and bring back coal, China’s President Xi pledged to invest $360 billion in renewable energy through 2020, creating 13 million new jobs.
Fossil fuels are not the future, and Americans know that. 2/3 of Americans support expanding renewable energy over fossil fuels. Coal will not be the employer of the future either; in 2017, the US coal industry employed 160,119 people, while the US solar industry employed 373,807.
In my work in Asia and Africa, I increasingly see China exerting its influence; the largest solar energy plant in Ghana was installed by a Chinese company, and local Ghanaian solar companies look to China for equipment and financing. A Chinese firm, using government financing, will build one of the largest solar plants in Nigeria – worth nearly $500 million.
Since World War II, countries around the world have looked to America for leadership; people want to work with American companies and use American innovations. America earned world respect for helping to broker the Paris agreement. If we withdraw, China WILL become the world leader on climate – President Xi is already grabbing headlines for being the one urging you to stay in the “hard won” Paris climate deal.
So please, let’s stay in the Paris agreement, and go one step further by making America a world leader on climate.
Andy Moon, SunFarmer