Despite Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate agreement a year ago, businesses seem more dedicated than ever to decreasing carbon emissions and producing cleaner energy. Digital Journal reports that American cities, businesses, and nonprofits, including major corporations like Google and Apple, have pledged to stick to the Paris agreement, which has been pledged to by 190 nations. By investing billions of dollars in to solar and wind energy, many Fortune 500 companies are matching their power use with renewable energy production or even completely powering their operations with clean energy.
“You’re definitely not seeing corporations slow down their appetite for renewable energy under Trump — if anything, demand continues to grow,” said Malcolm Woolf, senior vice president for policy at Advanced Energy Economy, a clean energy business group. “And it means that many utilities increasingly have to evolve to satisfy this demand.”
The organizations that have declared allegiance to the Paris climate agreement are part of what’s called a “We’re Still In” movement, which includes over 2,700 cities, states and businesses dedicated to upholding the decrees of the Paris agreement.
It’s easy to become jaded when it comes to climate change, because you need large amounts of progress to happen before you can start seeing real results, but these 2,700 cities’ and 190 nations’ effort to curtail climate change will add up quickly. In 2017, 19 game changing corporations, including Facebook, General Mills, Walmart, and Target announced plans to build 2.78 gigawatts worth of wind and solar generating capacity, which will match one sixth of the clean energy currently being generated in America
Even energy companies that have long relied on fossil fuels have begun to shift towards renewables. G&E, Southern California Edison, Austin Energy and Xcel Energy have taken dedication to clean energy seriously, and corporation have announced a plan to produce 2.48 new gigawatts of wind and solar for the first half of 2018. Brian Janous, general manager of energy at Microsoft, weighed in: “…with how fast wind and solar prices have fallen, we see this as something that makes financial sense,” he said.