By Morgan Wilt
WASHINGTON – Environmental policies took a backseat during the 2016 presidential election, but environmentalists wants to bring those policies to the forefront, despite an incoming president who may be resistant.
“Even if you don’t believe in climate change, it is still important to act on it,” Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute said during a press call with reporters Wednesday.
Steer said that their message may find support once linked with possible economic incentives.
“There is a belief incoming administration seems to have that there is a tradeoff between environmental management and economic growth,” Steer said. “If you want robust inclusive growth, you have to act on climate change.”
Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres, said that this is particularly viable when it comes to clean, renewable energy.
“It is now cheaper to cut carbon emissions and use renewable energy than it is continue to rely on fossil fuels, period. Whether it is a new administration or an old one, we need to build our economy and the way forward to do that is to build a renewable energy economy,” Lubber said.
The Obama administration has made history by signing the Paris agreement into action in April of this year, which is the world’s first comprehensive climate agreement that puts a ban on carbon emissions to prevent the global temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius.
Steer said he hopes the U.S. continues to abide by it.
“We would not have had the remarkable Paris Deal had it not been for United States leadership. We are hoping and praying the United States will not relinquish this,” Steer said. “On the contrary, part of its greatness will be the legacy that it leaves to many other countries in this area. We certainly hope that President-elect Trump recognizes that and acts accordingly.”