As 2017 came to a close and 2018 began states and cities continued to take action to boost renewable energy growth and support actions aimed to reduce climate change. At the federal level the renewable energy industry has fared decently despite expectations that Republicans in charge would make it less affordable.
The Chicago Climate Charter, a pledge to uphold the goals of the Paris Climate agreement, launched on Dec. 5. Last week Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that already 67 cities signed by cities—mostly from the US but also across the world. It’s the latest effort among cities, states and businesses to oppose President Donald Trump’s (R) withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Other efforts include the US Climate Alliance, which was signed by 14 states and Puerto Rico have joined to commit to the Paris Agreement—and at least 10 more are interested in joining it. The We Are Still in pledge has more than 2,500 signatories as well. That includes, cities, towns, states, companies, and more.
New York is among the states leading the charge to support the Paris agreement. Ahead of his 2018 state of the state speech New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he would work with the state’s Common Fund, its retirement fund to stop investing in fossil fuels and instead invest in clean energy and and clean energy technologies. The $200 billion fund had $1 billion alone invested in ExxonMobile in 2017, up from 2016.
While states are continuing to take positive actions on increasing the use of renewable energy, the federal government is not. The efforts go beyond Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement.
Advanced Energy Economy’s policy experts observed that renewable energy faced a series of challenges in 2017, including the original versions of the tax bills proposed in the House and Senate. Both would have added provisions that would have created new taxes on wind and solar power. Meanwhile, Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry took multiple actions to support fossil fuels over renewables, including evaluating the US energy supply’s reliability as more renewable energy came online. It found that renewable energy wasn’t hurting the US’s energy resiliency.Tweet