USA and climate change: two sides of the nation with the second highest share of greenhouse gases emissions

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While Donald J. Trump has selected the climate change denialist, Scott Pruitt, to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency, several entrepreneurs are investing on clean energy.

Climate change is clearly one of the major issues the world is facing nowadays. Renewable energy seems to be one of the strongest alternative to fossil fuels and the greatest opportunity to change effectively the actual pollution trends in the medium-long run. The shift to renewables is certainly not easy and it will take both time and the collective efforts of governments, private businesses, NGOs and the whole community.

Businesses play a fundamental role, since they can create wealth out of it and consequently have the most opportunities of investing and innovating in renewables. These are the key drivers to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

On the other hand, governments should create the best environment for enterprises and lead them towards a more sustainable future through regulations, public investments and subsidies.

Unfortunately, the recent election of Donald J. Trump as president of the USA seems not to encourage investment to fight climate change. On the contrary, a reduction in public investments and a deregulation in this field is highly predictable. As a major prove to this point, Trump has also appointed the climate change denialist, Scott Pruitt, to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Scott Pruitt has been on the frontline of the legal battle against Obama’s climate change polices. He has also repeatedly sustained Trump in his aim of dismantling or at least shrinking EPA itself. Behaviour that is perfectly related to the Trump’s declaration about climate change as a hoax and about its promise to cancel the Paris climate agreement.

While from one side the hopes of a strong environmental commitment of the second highest polluting country worldwide are fading, from the other side we see many entrepreneurs investing in a more sustainable future and encouraging the fight against climate change.

In the same days in which Donal J. Trump has reaffirmed his doubts about climate change, Bill Gates has announced his decision to personally donate 1 billion dollars to contribute to innovation in clean energy. The donation is aiming at investing in green technologies through a big fund of 170 billion dollars. The Breakthrough Energy Ventures Fund is financed also by other important professional figures as Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Richard Branson (Virgin) and Jack Ma (Alibaba).

Elon musk and his companies

Elon musk and his companies

A major signal of commitment to climate change comes also from Tesla. After the recent acquisition of Solar City, Elon Musk’s company has disclosed some information about its project of powering nearly the entire island of Ta’u in American Samoa with a micro grid of 1,4 megawatts solar generation capacity.

 

 

 

Someone perceives these actions as a provocation to the new elected president of the USA. In my opinion they are instead the proof that the issue is real and we necessarily have to deal with it.

Some of the most inspiring and influent people in the entrepreneurial environment are doing it. The outcome of their decision is surely more influential and can be easily perceived, but we all should do something to fight climate change. Everyone has the power and the possibility to improve and contribute to the change. No matter how big the improvement is, just stand up and take a step forward towards a better and cleaner future.

Lorenzo.Bezzi

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