President Elect Donald Trump – What Does it Mean for ESG?

The voters have spoken; their decision is known.  It may not have been the news that was expected, or hoped for, but the Office of the President of the United States of America is now in transition.  What does that mean for advocates of greater corporate and societal sustainability…corporate responsibility…corporate citizenship…a cleaner, lower-carbon economy?  What will happen to the US support of COP 21 goals and objectives?  What about the US low-carbon economy?  What about the SEC views on expanding corporate disclosure to include more ESG information?  What about Dodd-Frank rules now in place – or the rules not yet implemented?

So many questions!  We are now monitoring so many commentaries on these questions and more — and the views offered (very strong, indeed) by experts with deep background in the subject matter.  This week’s Top Stories for you are two views offered by such experts.

Chris Bryant of Bloomberg writes from Frankfurt, Germany in his “Trump Can’t Stop the Energy Revolution.” While President-elect Donald J. Trump can slow down the United States participation in the efforts to constructively address global climate change, he “can tell producers which power generation technologies to buy,” writes Bryant. “That decision will come down to cost in the end.  Right now, coal is losing that battle, while renewables are gaining…”

Coal plants may stay open for longer, thinks Bryant, under a Trump Administration (IF campaign promises are kept); but coal will struggle to compete with cheap natural gas and a large volume of coal-generating [electrical] capacity will be retired by 2030.  This is a terrific piece to share with your colleagues who despair that “coal clouds” will be filling the atmosphere after the new administration comes to office.

Andrew Winston, author of Green to Gold, writing in Huffington Post online, says “Trump Can’t Stop the Clean Economy” in his commentary.  We share his views courtesy of our colleagues at Sustainable Brands in the other Top Story.  “If there is any force greater than whatever propelled Donald Trump to the Presidency,” says Winston, “it is economic.  Nobody, not even a President Trump, can stop all the movement toward the clean economy.  The reason is simple:  It’s now cheaper to cut carbon and use renewable energy than to keep the status quo.”

This commentary also has encouraging content to share with colleagues.  If Donald Trump follows through on what he said he would do on energy and climate, thinks Andrew Bryant, yes, it could have a devastating impact on global political progress on climate change.  He goes on to share his views on clean energy and the competitive pricing for renewables in the USA.  “Renewables have already won,” says Bryant.

We are receiving commentaries from various colleagues in NGOs, investment houses, the public sector, trade and professional associations, and individuals.  We’ll share these over the coming weeks as we move toward the January 20th 2017 transition of power in our federal government.   What are your thoughts?  Share them with us!

 

Top Story

Trump Can’t Stop the Clean Economy
(Wednesday – November 09, 2016)
Source: Andrew Winston Commentary / Huff Post via Sustainable Brands-  If there’s any force greater than whatever propelled Donald Trump into the Presidency, it’s economics. Nobody, not even a President Trump, can stop all movement toward the clean economy. The reason is simple: It’s now cheaper to cut carbon and use renewable energy than to keep the status quo.

Trump Can’t Stop the Energy Revolution
(Wednesday – November 09, 2016)
Source:  Chris Bryant / Bloomberg Commentary from Frankfurt – The planet is warming, dangerously so, and burning more coal will make it worse. President-elect Donald Trump thinks man-made climate change is a hoax and he’s promised to revive the US coal industry by cutting regulation. So renewables are dead in the water, right? Maybe not.

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