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Paris Agreement: Leaving Could Hurt American Businesses-by Jeff McDermott

Adopted in 2015, the historic Paris Agreement brought together 195 nations to ambitiously address the impacts and causes of climate change. Donald Trump is now considering withdrawing from it, which would not only have ramifications on new energy technology efforts, but on American economic progress.

Pulling out of the Paris Agreement means the country won’t have to reduce its carbon emissions, which means it won’t have to invest in new wind, solar, or energy-efficiency technologies. But those technologies are where the job growth is. Solar jobs—which require lots of people to put panels on roofs—grew 25% last year, while wind jobs grew 32%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report. Those two industries now employ nearly a half million Americans. Coal mining is mostly done by machine, and now employs just 74,000 people, a decline of 39% from 2009. Because coal mining is largely mechanized, those jobs are not coming back even if we burn more coal. Wind and solar are where the jobs are, and if we don’t have to reduce emissions, they won’t grow as fast.

In communications, defense, and other industries, America has created jobs and enormous wealth by leading in technology advancement. It makes no sense for the Trump administration to throttle new energy technology—wind and solar, batteries for electricity storage, smart grids, and electric vehicles, among others.

Note EU-Digest: President Trumps arguments for pulling out of the Paris Agreement were a number of nebulous financial fake figures that he pulled out of his hat. They made no sense at all and already some of the major signatory members of the Paris Agreement have decided to continue with the agreement.

Read more: The Paris Agreement: Leaving Could Hurt American Businesses |

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