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Despite the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, other countries are stepping up their efforts to combat climate change – as are businesses, including US corporations.
“The change in the US administration came as a shock, and we realised there had to be a reaction,” said Yvon Slingenberg, Director for Climate Negotiations and Mainstreaming at the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action. “Do we need to change our approach to implementation? The answer is definitely ‘yes’. But the difference after Paris is that it is not just the governments. It is other parts of civil society that also have become active.”
She was speaking at Friends of Europe’s Climate and Energy Summit, hosted in Brussels on 17 October. The event was held shortly after EU summits with both China and India, where all parties reaffirmed their commitments to fight global warming. China, which accounts for 30% of global emissions, has pledged to invest $360bn in renewables over the next three years. What’s more, businesses – once concerned mainly by the potential downsides of climate-related regulation – are becoming enthusiastic about green technology’s potential for growth.