The whole world should vote in the US elections, because they have such an impact on the rest of us. At least that’s how the joke goes. With the election of Donald Trump, more people than ever would agree. If Trump implements even half of his campaign promises, it’ll be a disaster for the environment.
The president-elect has pledged to cancel US participation in the Paris Agreement on climate change, reverse Obama’s laws to reduce coal-fired power station emissions, abolish support to renewable energy projects and shut down the US Environmental Protection Agency. That’s just for starters. It’s a nightmarish scenario that could well come true. So, what can we do?
We should pray for the millions of US citizens who care passionately about nature. They’re grieving and fearful today, and need wisdom on how to proceed. We can hope the momentum of international action to address climate change – from the Paris Agreement, through the trade opportunities from investing in green technology, to bold initiatives by an increasing number of city authorities – drives us forward despite the US federal government opting out in denial. This is quite possible, though not guaranteed.
Above all, we can use our citizen power in our own country to ensure Britain strengthens its own environmental performance. It’s critical. Not only is it right, morally, whatever others do or don’t do. But also by far the best antidote to Donald Trump’s chilling attitude is for other countries to strengthen their own resolve to tackle climate change and nature loss, and reap the benefits of going green even faster.
Most of us will never get to vote in a US election. But only we, not the US government nor its citizens, can determine how our houses run, what transport we use, how our local church values God’s creation, or what the UK Government does in our name. That’s our job. Donald Trump’s election just made that even more important. With prayer, mutual support and renewed determination, let’s get on with it! (Text: CEO Andy Atkins. Photo: Lipton sale talk)