After Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Northeastern News spoke with Dr. Jennie Stephens, WGSS executive committee member, Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy, and associate director of Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute. On the question of how the U.S. withdrawal could impact climate change mitigation efforts, Dr. Stephens said,
Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement does not actually halt climate mitigation efforts in the United States. Despite the lack of national support, much climate action in the U.S. is already taking place at the state and local levels. In addition, the transition away from fossil fuels toward more renewables will continue in the U.S. regardless of this decision. Renewable energy is among the fastest growing job-creating sectors in the country and the momentum there will not stop. The Trump administration’s attempt to expand, rather than reduce, fossil fuel reliance could slow down renewable expansion and increase U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, but individuals, communities, and businesses around the country will continue to seek the benefits of cleaner renewable energy.