President-elect Donald Trump’s victory has the potential to demolish all of Secretary of State John Kerry’s past four years of hard work against climate change.
Trump, who has publicly stated that he does not believe in climate change and that it is a “hoax,” has promised supporters that he will rip up the 2015 Paris deal, something Kerry has been working hard to achieve and sustain for the past year and a half.
The Paris deal seeks to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions caused by dangerous chemicals released into the environment from air conditioners and refrigerators all over the world. The overall goal is to cut these emissions in order to limit global warming to well below a 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit change, which hasn’t been seen since pre-industrial times.
This agreement is off to a running start and went into action just four days before the presidential election.
Not only would this change be detrimental to the agreement, as the U.S. promised to be one of the lead forces behind the implementation, it would undo the legacy of President Obama, who has made climate change one of his biggest foreign and domestic policies throughout his eight-year tenure.
Both Obama and Kerry have reached tremendous success concerning climate change in just the past couple months. They secured a deal in September with Montreal to limit the greenhouse emissions from international flights, and another in Rwanda in October to cut back on emissions put forth by air conditioners.
Trump’s claims have caused Kerry to make a public statement at an international climate change conference earlier this week about the changes to come. As reported on Business Insider, he said “While I can’t stand here and speculate about what policies our President-elect will pursue, I will tell you this: In the time that I have spent in public life, one of the things I’ve learned is that some issues look a little bit different when you’re actually in office compared to when you’re on the campaign trail.”
For those worried about the dangers posed by air conditioners, planting trees near homes can cut down on the need for interior cooling. In fact, trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30%, and have the ability to save 20 to 50% in energy costs used for heating.