The president-elect has long denied climate change and promised to revive the coal industry, saying earlier this year, “Let me tell you: the miners in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, which was so great to me last week and Ohio and all over, they’re going to start to work again, believe me. You’re going to be proud again to be miners.” On his campaign website, Trump promises to “support coal production” and “unleash an energy revolution that will bring vast new wealth to our country.”
Trump has threatened to pull out of the Paris climate agreement based on a fear that its regulations may be “bad for workers or contrary to the national interest.” But according to a study released Thursday by the Brookings Institute, “33 states and the District of Columbia managed to expand their economies between 2000 and 2014 while reducing their carbon emissions.”
A study by Arabella Advisors published Monday, the one-year anniversary of the Paris deal, found that an increasing number of assets are being directed away from fossil fuels: “the value of assets represented by institutions and individuals committing to some sort of divestment from fossil fuel companies has reached $5 trillion. To date, 688 institutions and 58,399 individuals across 76 countries have committed to divest from fossil fuel companies, doubling the value of assets represented in the last 15 months.”
And for the fifth year in a row, the International Energy Agency has downgraded its expected medium-term coal growth and projects that global consumption will peak by 2021. It peaked years ago in the U.S., the third biggest coal market in the world, and consumption plummeted 15 percent last year. As a coal analyst told The New York Times last month. “There is optimism that with government support, coal is more viable. But the same headwinds still exist that have existed over the past five years.” Trump will have to unleash his energy revolution without coal’s help.