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Carbon Brief: Trump signs order dismantling Obama-era climate policies

This is a commentary by Carbon Brief’s Leo Hickman on the latest executive order by US president Donald Trump that we copy below, for the original post -see here.

US president Donald Trump signed an order yesterday to undo the Obama administration’s climate regulations and revive the coal industry, effectively ending US leadership in international climate politics. Trump made it clear that the US has no intention of meeting the commitments his predecessor made to cut carbon emissions, “turning denial of climate change into national policy” the New York Times writes. The main target of Trump’s “energy independence” order is Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which required states to cut emissions from power plants. It also reverses a ban on coal leasing on federal lands, ends rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production, and reduces the weight of climate change in policy decisions, Reuters reports. “I am taking historic steps to lift restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations”, Trump said while signing the order at the headquarters of the US Environmental Protection Agency. While the regulatory process could take years, the move “sends a clear signal domestically and internationally that [Trump] does not believe climate change to be anywhere near the crisis that Obama identified”, the Hill writes. And without these rules, the US is likely to fall far short of its 2015 Paris Agreement pledge, the New York Times reports. The order drew a swift backlash from a coalition of 23 states, local governments and environmental groups, which promised to fight the order in court, calling it a threat to public health. “President Trump’s decision to ax the Clean Power Plan cedes U.S. global leadership and increases the risk that climate change will continue to damage our state. We can’t afford to slow our efforts, and we won’t”, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told the Hill. “We’re very confident that the EPA cannot simply dismantle the CPP and leave nothing in its place”, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said yesterday, who is part of a coalition of 17 Democratic attorneys general and city attorneys considering what legal actions could be taken to block Trump’s order. The governors of California and New York said that they would push ahead with their aggressive climate change policies despite the order, AP reports. Elsewhere, leading conservationist Jane Goodall called Trump’s climate change agenda “immensely depressing”, the Guardian reports. This latest executive order is “seen as a prelude to the US following through with the campaign commitment to withdraw from the Paris deal”, the Guardian Australia reports, and Australian conservatives are watching events in the US “closely”, with some backbenchers suggesting that Australia should review their climate commitments if Trump withdraws from the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile EU leaders expressed “regret” over the order, the Washington Post reports. European commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete confirmed that “Despite all the current geopolitical uncertainties, the world can count on Europe to maintain global leadership in the fight against climate change. We will stand by Paris, we will defend Paris, and we will implement Paris.” FiveThirtyEight, New Scientist, Nature, Climate Central, Telegraph, the Times, the Guardian, Carbon Pulse, Inside Climate News, Climate Home and Politico also have the story.

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