In a lecture at Columbia Law School, Gina McCarthy sharply critiqued the Trump administration’s environmental policies, but offered hope that grassroots movements and other branches of government can make a difference.
Clean Power Plan
For those who favor strong action on climate change, the election of Donald Trump is creating plenty of anxiety and concern. Will Trump set our efforts to curb climate change back? How can those who are concerned about climate change best fight back?
The outcome of this year’s presidential election could have far-reaching implications for the fate of our planet because the two presumptive candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, have very different ideas about climate change. What will they do about the Paris accord and climate change?
The issue comes down to willingness to pay upfront for improved systems, rather than pay to address environmental emergencies later on, when pieces of the system fall apart. Both water and energy systems carry user charges, but weak, ideologically-bound politicians refuse to allow these fees to grow to pay the capital cost of modern infrastructure.
The Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to postpone implementation of the Clean Power Plan represents a setback for efforts to combat climate change; but the damage to the U.S. ability to meet pledges it made at the Paris climate summit in December “is less than it might seem,” says Michael Gerrard.
The politics of climate change remains contentious, with Democrats more concerned about the issue than Republicans. What is most interesting about the polling data is that young people are far more concerned about climate change than older people.
The United States has joined 185 countries in promising to curb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, develop other ways to mitigate the impacts and to make communities more resilient to climate change. So what exactly is the United States proposing to do?
The Clean Power Plan, the renewable energy tax credit, and state and local sustainability initiatives may not have the glamor of climate conferences in Paris or the media currency of the fight over the Keystone XL Pipeline, but they are the real, operational policies and programs that actually reduce fossil fuel use and speed the transition to a renewable economy