“People should be concerned about what the U.S. would be attempting to do at the negotiating table should it stay in the Paris Accords,” IPS fellow and U.S. policy director at Oil Change International Janet Redman told the Real News Network, as the Trump administration weighs how it’s going to treat the Paris agreement.
While it’s the one international space where the U.S. has made commitments to curb global warming, Redman explained, we’re hearing Energy Secretary Rick Perry suggest that he wants the U.S. to stay in that space so that we can renegotiate our position there. “There’s been talk of trying to bring in language to encourage technologies that will give coal a new life,” Redman said.
However, Redman said staying in the agreement offers an opportunity for other countries as well as people inside the U.S to pressure the U.S. government into “honoring our commitments to reduce emissions from the fossil fuel sector. There is conversation about how other countries can incentivize the United States.”
Redman went on to discuss the financial costs of delayed action on climate change, citing a World Bank statistic that for “every one dollar that we decide not to spend on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, we actually spend 7 dollars cleaning up the disaster in extreme weather-related disasters, storms, and other impacts from climate change.”
Redman also spoke about job expansion in the renewable energy sector within the United States.
“Renewable energy is a more job-dense sector than the fossil fuel industry, but it’s also the largest-growing job sector in the United States overall,” Redman said. “If we want to talk about making America great again on the international stage, this is where we are going to see some interesting economic growth.”
“It is not just political. This is where the markets are heading even while we are seeing signals from the administration that are trying to put the brakes on this part of the industry,” Redman concluded.