4 pieces of climate progress President Trump's policies can't undo

Keith Gaby

No one should underestimate the danger of a Trump presidency to our environment. For starters, the president-elect says he wants to dismantle the agency that keeps our air and water clean.

We’re going to have to fight to protect the progress we’ve made. But we aren’t powerless.

The forces that are moving us towards a cleaner, safer world are strong – and Trump’s election hasn’t changed that.

1. Americans support climate, clean energy action.

No one wants dirty water, polluted air, or more asthma for their kids.Trump doesn’t have a mandate to gut our environmental protections.

More than two-thirds of voters favor the federal government “taking steps to reduce emissions of gases like carbon dioxide that cause global climate change.” That means when his allies in Congress try to dismantle basic environmental protections, they’ll have a big fight on their hands.

2. The rest of the world is still moving forward.

Case in point: China’s planned carbon market.

Carbon markets – one of the most effective ways to reduce climate pollution – are thriving around the world, and China’s could be the largest. The country of 1.3 billion is responsible for 20 percent of the world’s carbon pollution.

China’s sub-national carbon market pilots now cover 250 million people, with the Beijing pilot alone already reporting a reduction of more than 10 million metric tons of climate pollution.

If the United States turns it back on the challenge of climate change, we’ll be isolating ourselves from the world. That will hurt our businesses, give away clean energy jobs to Europe and China, and could even give other countries an excuse to tax our exports.

Unsurprisingly, American businesses are already standing up against withdrawing from our commitments.

3. Washington isn’t the only game. States are acting.

California is the leader on smart climate policy, Texas is the leader on wind and has its own approach to clean air. In the northeast, nine states are cutting pollution and easing burdens on taxpayers with a market-based system to cut pollution.

Ohio, meanwhile, is engaging in cutting-edge efforts to modernize our electric grid.

As one article noted, “states are ‘not going to be stopped’ ” by President-Elect Trump’s policies

4. Market forces favor clean energy

Clean energy is growing fast.

The solar industry is adding workers 12 times faster than the overall economy. Wind energy is cheaper than coal in many places, and getting cheaper.

Companies such as Walmart are getting more ambitious about renewable energy and corporate America is “jumping on the clean energy bandwagon.”

The world, in other words, is still moving forward. Elections matter and fighting against Trump’s policies won’t be easy. But momentum, common sense, and the people are on the side of a better world. Now it’s time to fight back.

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