As US withdraws from climate deal, Carolinas companies stick to their own plans

From the Charlotte Observer – June 1, 2017

As critics bemoaned President Trump’s decision Thursday to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accords, business experts say the move will have little practical effect on Carolinas businesses.

Power companies such as Duke Energy are already moving away from coal, the fuel whose carbon emissions are linked to climate change, and toward cheaper, cleaner natural gas and renewable energy. Those moves won’t be reversed because of policy changes.

Many smaller companies, meanwhile, have found that energy efficiency and emission-free rooftop solar panels save them money.

“It’s my personal belief that U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement will have little to no effect on the strategic approach of energy companies in the Carolinas,” said David Doctor, CEO of the Charlotte-based energy trade association E4 Carolinas.

North Carolina fought former President Barack Obama’s plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants, Doctor said, negating any policy implications of the Paris agreement. But energy companies and their customers have also grown to expect to operate more cleanly than in the past, he added.

“Energy companies, and I would say nearly all, have a clear understanding that clean energy is good business,” he said. “They’re paying attention to their customers much more than they are to policy and world opinion, and their customers have decided that clean energy is good.”

Read the full article on the Charlotte Observer’s website.