Climate Change - A glimmer of hope from the new administration?
When Donald J Trump became President-elect many Americans, and as many people outside of America, pondered (and worried) about the Paris Agreement and the U.S.’s role in climate change policy moving forward, in light of Trump’s comments on Twitter stating that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”. He also called climate change “a hoax”.
At the Net Impact 2016 Conference, many of the young people in attendance said of all the areas of concern there was nothing more pressing than climate change. Yes there are critical issues facing us including social justice, health care, woman’s rights, feeding 9 billion, and the list goes on – but many agree that climate change is one of the greatest threats facing the planet and inaction is not an option.
But then something strange happened on the way to the White House. Ivanka Trump met with Leonardo DiCaprio and with Al Gore, former vice president and star of An Inconvenient Truth. Leonardo gave Ivanka a copy of his climate change documentary – Before The Flood – staring Barak Obama, Elon Musk, and Pope Francis amongst others. In the meeting with Al Gore and Ivanka, one can assume that she persuaded her father to meet with Mr. Gore in order to open his mind, or at least find some common areas of concern, that they could agree upon.
This is a positive shift from where we thought we would be. Dialogue is critical and Mr. Trump can decide whether his presidency will be defined by “denial and disaster, or acceptance and action” as stated by a letter from 700 scientists and academics being sent to the President-elect this week. If his children can push environmental conservation issues we have a glimmer of hope: we know he listens to his children, especially Ivanka. Let’s hope that her role in this next administration will place emphasis on energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions.
Catherine Muriel is the CMO of Net Impact.
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