Energy groups remain committed to environmental protection despite U.S. withdrawal from Paris agreement

Published on June 02, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Following President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, leaders from several energy groups reiterated their commitment to supporting clean energy initiatives.

The Paris agreement, which was adopted by consensus in December 2015, represents a commitment from the majority of the world’s nations to confront issues related to climate change. The United States emits the second highest amount of greenhouse gasses of any country.

“Despite the decision today to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord, the wind industry expects to continue as an American economic success story,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said on Thursday.

Wind energy has created over 100,000 jobs in the United States and the sector has achieved job growth that is nine times faster than the average industry. More than 500 factories in 43 states make parts for wind turbines, according to Kiernan.

Energy industry leaders expressed confidence that renewable energy will continue to grow and that emissions will continue to be reduced despite the Trump administration’s decision.

“Based on preliminary estimates, our industry’s carbon dioxide emissions were nearly 25 percent below 2005 levels by the end of 2016, and we expect that emissions will continue to decline,” said Tom Kuhn, president of Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which represents U.S. investor-owned electric companies. “EEI’s member companies are committed to a healthy environment and to providing the clean energy future and technology options that our customers want and expect.”

“Our industry always has relied on a diverse and domestic energy mix to ensure that electricity remains affordable, reliable, and secure,” he added.

The Solar Energy Industries Alliance (SEIA), meanwhile, believes the United States should stay engaged in the Paris Agreement.

“Though President Trump decided yesterday to withdraw the United States from the ranks of 190 other counties committed to this agreement, solar will remain a growing part of America’s energy portfolio,” SEIA’s Vice President of Communications Dan Whitten, said in a blog post on Friday. “The solar industry will continue to add jobs, spark economic growth and reduce carbon emissions.”