Last week, US President Donald Trump announced his country’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement – the biggest, most ambitious effort to fight climate change in human history. Many of us saw it coming. Trump and particularly the Republican Party have for years dismissed the concept of man-made global warming, even though it is backed by an avalanche of evidence and a global consensus amounting to 97% of the global science community.

Some declared the Trump administration’s decision a major setback for the future of our planet and its people. Some claimed that Trump is shooting himself and the American people in the foot by stalling the inevitable transition into greener energy, jobs and growth. While Sustainia usually adheres to a more optimistic approach and highlights the opportunities behind the world’s risks, I must condone that Trump has revived a new battle on climate change that requires our urgent attention and action.

By turning his back on the Paris deal and global warming, Trump has added fuel to the fire on both sides of the climate debate. For the many fighting climate change Trump’s announcement is a battle cry, and for the fossil fuel lobbyists it is sweet music. No matter how you twist and turn Trump’s words and promises, they have opened up a debate on climate change that we cannot afford to lose. This is why the next year will be defining for the coming decades of climate action globally.

We’ve got the solutions – now is the time to mobilize

I have no doubt that we have the upper hand. First of all, American business leaders recognize the business potential of a green transition, and they acknowledge the serious risk of the US losing its competitive edge if the country does not fully embrace renewable energy and sustainable innovation. Last year, 365 US businesses called on Trump not to abandon the Paris agreement, and business spearheads such as Elon Musk, Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg have expressed their outrage following Trump’s announcement last week.

Secondly, Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris deal comes at a time when we are in the middle of the most important and fastest growing industrial revolution in human history. For seven years, Sustainia has investigated and documented this revolution and recently we launched our new innovation hub, the Global Opportunity Explorer, which categorically debunks Trump’s notion that climate action is destroying American jobs and prosperity.

The Global Opportunity Explorer exhibits 300 of the world’s most innovative solutions that represent a new paradigm in which technology is used for sustainable disruption: blockchain challenges the centralized energy grid, big data helps us track pollution and improve climate resilience, and robots assist us in micromanaging crops for maximum output.

These 300 solutions leave us with better stories than Trump could ever dream of – stories about beating hearts and passionate souls driving technological progress for the betterment of our planet and its people. These solutions and stories serve as an antidote to the climate skepticism that roams the corridors of the White House. They are evidence that global warming is happening now and fast, and that the global mission to address the challenge will not cease because of some political resistance.

Therefore, Sustainia and the Global Opportunity Explorer have an important task ahead of us. We have an obligation to keep on telling these stories and keep on demonstrating that the green revolution has already set sail and that we need all hands on deck.

The shouts from world leaders, CEO’s, climate advocates and entrepreneurs – however loud they may be – are not enough. We need to make this industrial revolution a public domain where we stand together. The pluralism of climate action stands tall against the homogeneity of climate denial. We need to make sure that Trump’s decision to ignore our climate will unite countries, states and cities, leave business rivals aligned, provoke louder voices from the public and eventually accelerate climate action, technological advancement and green growth, not just in America but worldwide.

If you want to help us showcase sustainable innovation and demonstrate why climate action is good for economies, societies and our environment, please get in touch with us on

Author: Erik Rasmussen