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As Trump readies for inauguration, environmental, climate organizations express concern

Noam Galai | WireImage | Getty Images

Later on today, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States.

With his inauguration now just hours away, CNBC's Sustainable Energy is taking a look at how environmental and climate organizations are assessing his potential impact on the planet.



Trouble ahead?

Trump's previous statements on the environment and climate change – many of them via Twitter – have not sat well with many.

To give just one example, in 2012 he famously described the concept of global warming as having been "created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

Trump has also threatened to pull the U.S. out of the historic Paris Agreement, reached at the COP21 summit in Paris back in 2015, although he told the New York Times in November that he was "going to take a look at it."

For Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, there could well be issues ahead.

"Trump will have substantial potential to cause trouble on climate policy," Edenhofer said in a statement released on Thursday, before going on to state that Trump could attempt to "drive the export of coal."

"The economic policy of the new president could also lead to rising interest rates, which would compromise the competitiveness of renewable energies," he added.

The profitability of climate-friendly technologies was primarily determined by investment costs, which are dependent on the interest rate, Edenhofer added.

The bigger picture

The actions Trump takes in office with regards to the environment will impact people living both in the United States and the rest of the world.

On Friday, the chief executive of Friends of the Earth in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, was forthright in his opinion.

"The battle to prevent the world spinning towards catastrophic climate change is going to be a tough challenge – and, with a cheer-leader for the fossil fuel industry sitting in the Whitehouse, it's going to be tougher still," Craig Bennett said in a statement.

"Donald Trump won't 'make America great again' if he ditches action on climate change and boosts his nation's addiction to dirty gas, coal and oil," Bennett added.