Amid growing concern over the pending Trump presidency—and how he will manage industry in the United States—it looks like the most disadvantaged countries across the globe are taking green matters into their own hands. Recently, members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum—with representatives from 47 of the world’s most disadvantaged nations—had all pledged to move towards 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2020.
All of the countries involved have long been keen supporters of holding the global temperature rise within this century at not more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Obviously, this is a target reached by the countries in attendance at the most recent climate summit, in Paris, last year.
“We are pioneering the transformation towards 100% renewable energy, but we want other countries to follow in our footsteps in order to evade catastrophic impacts we are experiencing through hurricanes, flooding and droughts,” explains Marshall Islands minister Mattlan Zackhras.
In addition to moving towards 100 percent renewable energy, the CVF countries have also pledged to update their respective national climate-cutting plans before 2020 and also to develop more sustainable long-term plans as soon as possible.
Perhaps more important, there seemed to be a bit of anxiety among the CVF countries in regards to the slow progress being made by richer, bigger countries.
“We don’t know what countries are still waiting for to move towards net carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy,” comments Edgar Gutierrez, who is the Costa Rican minister for the environment. “All parties should start the transition, otherwise we will all suffer.”
Still, other negotiators at the Forum remain focused on the effort to move forward.
For example, EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete notes, “The commitments made by the Climate Vulnerable Forum today are both impressive and inspirational.”
He goes on to say, “They have once again shown their moral leadership in this process with real-world commitments to action. These countries are already living the terrifying reality of climate change today and their very existence is on the line. The EU stands with them and their commitment to greater ambition in the years ahead.”
Of course, many initiatives are up in the air right now, as US president-elect Donald Trump has promised to end all the use of US federal dollars on global warming initiatives. That reduces funding by as much as $2.5 billion.