Cities and States Lead on Climate Change

IOWA CITY — THE wind turbines that rise out of the cornfields here reminded me on a recent drive of one postelection truth, even in the red state of Iowa. As President-elect Donald J. Trump considers whether to break the United States commitment to the Paris climate accord, the rise of clean energy across the heartland is already too well entrenched to be reversed. By 2020, thanks to MidAmerican Energy’s planned $3.6 billion addition to its enormous wind turbine operations, 85 percent of its Iowa customers will be electrified by clean energy. Meanwhile, Moxie Solar, named the fastest-growing local business by The Corridor Business Journal of Iowa, is installing solar panels on my house, and is part of a solar industry that now employs 200,000 nationwide. Doomsday scenarios about the climate have abounded in the aftermath of the November election. But responsibility for effectively reining in carbon emissions also rests with business, and with the nation’s cities and states. Those are the battlegrounds. Worldwide, cities produce as much as 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

 
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