Well, for a start, Trump has dismissed climate change in the past. He seems to believe it doesn’t exist, and in fact is a myth created by the Chinese.
He also pledged to ‘stop the war’ on the coal and mining industry and stated that shale energy was the way forward and would ‘unleash massive wealth’ for America, ignoring the fact that both industries are in competition with each other, making it rather difficult to support them both. Solar and wind, the renewable energy sources we strongly advocate here at Greenstream, were dismissed as too expensive in spite of the fact that in recent years with lowered costs and innovations in technology, that argument is no longer as viable.
My guess is that most renewable energy enthusiasts, if voting purely on the issues of energy and climate change, would have gone for Clinton, whop promised to continue the strides forward taken during Obama’s residency. Trumps election then has surely come as a blow.
So in real terms, what could this mean? Back in 2009, Trump seemed to be a supporter of renewables; he gave his signature along with others to a letter to Obama before the Copenhagan Climate Summit, calling for an increase in clean energy technologies. But in his recent campaign pledges he has gone against that in dramatic fashion, promising to rescind Obamas Clean Energy Plan, back out of the Paris climate agreement and has been vocal about his dislike of the wind farms in view of his golf course.
It’s not looking good.
But I think it’s important not to catastrophise. Donald Trump cannot, in four years, President or not, single-handedly dismantle the renewable energy revolution. He cannot stop individual states from pursuing reduced emissions. He cannot prevent the slide of the coal industry, for all his ‘war’ rhetoric. He can’t abolish the EPA without the support of Congress. His plans to spend a trillion dollars building new roads isn’t likely to be supported by conservative Republicans. He cannot change the fact that clean energy technology continues to get better and better and cheaper and cheaper.
We can wait, Mr Trump.