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Market Advances Make Paris Pullback a Tough Job for Trump, says EDF

Hundreds of businesses have called upon President Trump to not abandon the country’s promises to a global climate change accord and to continue to support the new energy economy.

Both large and small businesses in a range of industries are making the demand. DuPont and Monsanto are among the names getting bandied about, which say that the US can reduce its carbon emissions and remain economically competitive. With such momentum, can the nation’s new president pull out of Paris and other carbon-cutting measures?

It will be hard. According to the Environmental Defense Fund is that investors controlling more than $5 trillion in assets are calling on corporate boards to get on board. Already, $1.42 trillion follows such climate change criteria and is under management, it adds. The good news, the group, says is that the free market economy supports those decisions.

“Prices are dropping, making renewables not only competitive, but ushering in an era of undercutting fossil sources – even without subsidies,” writes Namrita Kapur, managing director for EDF, in Forbes. “Solar energy, for example, is already the lowest-cost option in parts of the world and expected to beat out coal globally by 2025.”

At the same time, large corporations are looking to lock in prices for definite periods of time under so-called power purchase agreements. As a result, those contracts had best year in Europe in 2016,  the author says, totaling more than 1 gigawatt, up from about 400 megawatts in 2015.

Here in the United States, the same trends are occurring. And even smaller commercial and industrial businesses want to be part of the action.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers says that the corporate green market here has grown over the last 24 months and that it will continue to expand. Seventy-two percent of the companies it surveyed said that they are pursuing renewables, noting that they want to be more sustainable and to use green energy to hedge against volatile energy prices.

All of this is in the context of an announcements last month by Bill Gates and several other business leaders to plow $1 billion into green technologies. The aim is to bring promising technologies into the mainstream and to reduce carbon emissions.

Trump, of course, has said he would withdraw from the Paris climate accords and has chosen cabinet secretaries that generally believe the same that include those who would head the EPA, Energy Department and State Department. Doing as much will cause the president to face tremendous headwinds — and from a critical source: American business.

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