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An Increased Commitment to Green Causes Since Trump? | Scorcher

Published: October 9, 2017 by Editorial Team

Sheldon Zakreski, The Climate Trust
Weekly Policy and Finance Update – October 9, 2017

Bottom line | Since Trump’s electoral victory, Americans have demonstrated an increased commitment to environmental causes, which is good news for voluntary carbon markets.

Is Trump good for the environment? That’s a seemingly easy question to answer when the priority of his EPA is to improve superfund site clean ups, yet he’s proposing to slash that effort’s budget by approximately 30%. However, for much of the year states have moved in the opposite direction and Americans have been more engaged on the environment than under an Obama presidency. This is especially true in climate change.

States are marching forward on carbon reduction policies. Oregon is considering an economy-wide cap on emissions, while Virginia is contemplating capping power sector emissions and joining a Northeastern system that allows for a cap and trade of emissions allowances. New Jersey is thinking of rejoining this same market after pulling out several years ago.

There are also encouraging signs among the populace. This past May, a Yale program study found that more Americans believe in man-made climate change after the election than before it. Large business have demonstrated a renewed commitment to emission reductions and some have pledged to do their part to honor the Paris climate accord commitment.

This sort of uptick in committing to emission reductions has been seen before. The voluntary carbon market emerged with force in the 2000s as many households and businesses purchased offsets in response to the Bush Administration’s lack of action on climate change. While a Trump presidency has raised many concerns about reducing carbon emissions, history suggests that voluntary offset markets could see an uptick in demand as people and businesses increasingly look for ways to take action on reducing their emissions.

Research and Resources

More Than Half of Americans Think Global Warming Is Mostly Human Caused
Yale Program on Climate Communications, July 5, 2017

The carbon buyers’ club: international emissions trading beyond Paris
Georg Zachmann, Senior Fellow, Bruegel, March 2017

Top News Headlines

The Green Backlash Against Trump
Dan Farber, Legal Planet, September 27, 2017

State of Play: Trump v. the Environment
Dan Farber, Legal Planet, September 8, 2017

Nothing But Clear Skies Blog

We Can Meet the U.S. Paris Commitment without Federal Support
Peter Weisberg, February 8, 2017

Image credit: Flickr/Bemep