Trump undoes policies to fight climate change
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President Trump signed an executive order undoing former President Obama’s climate change policies.
On August 3, 2015, Obama created the Clean Power Plan. This plan would have closed many coal-fired power plants and replaced them with wind and solar farms all to reduce carbon emissions, as reported by The New York Times.
One objection to this plan was the inevitable loss of jobs for coal workers as well as those in the oil and gas industries whose sole purpose for generations has been to produce energy. To counteract the argument, BBC reports that those for Obama’s policy said that the Clean Power Plan would have been a job creator, not for those in the coal and oil industries, but for lawyers. However, Trump’s order has now eliminated that possibility as the plan is now in the process of being rewritten to favor current energy industry jobs.
A question that many climate change activists have posed is whether this new change in policy will still follow the commitments the U.S. made under the Paris climate deal. According to BBC, the deal that was made at the Paris conference was for “governments to move their economies away from fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions to try to contain global temperature rise.”
Trump has not yet decided whether to formally withdraw from the Paris agreement. However, his rollback of United States’ energy changes, encompassing major emissions cuts, to help meet the goal of keeping global warming under 3.6 degrees essentially dooms the international measure.
In a speech by President Trump, he says that by signing this order, he is “putting an end on the war on coal. We are going to have clean coal.” According to The Independent, Laurence Tubbiana, a former French diplomat on climate change and now the CEO of the European Climate Foundation, said that it “will propel the economy backwards.”
As Anne Kelly, a director of Ceres, a coalition of investors and business leaders that advocate sustainability, explained, the rollback is going to hurt those in the renewable energy sector as well as “send the wrong signal” to private investors.
Trump said that “when it comes to dealing with climate change, we want to take our own course and do it in our fashion.”