By Odisha Story Bureau, New Delhi:
- The Executive Order calls for an immediate reevaluation of the Clean Power Plan, the flagship initiative of the US to meet its emission reduction pledge.
- Lifts the ban on federal leasing of land for coal production; lifts restrictions on the production of oil, natural gas, clean coal, and shale oil and gas.
- In his federal budget, Trump has already eliminated funding for UNFCCC and the Green Climate Fund.
- With this Executive Order and budget proposal, the US will fail to fulfill its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
- These actions of the Trump administration hit at the very foundation of the Paris Agreement; they trigger the process that could potentially dismantle the Agreement which was signed by 195 countries in 2015.
In a move which could potentially sound the death knell to the Paris Agreement on climate change, US president Donald Trump, on March 28, 2017, signed a sweeping Executive Order on ‘Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth’. The Order eliminates much of the already “modest” policies and initiatives started by the Obama administration to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the US, says Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
The Executive Order
- revokes the moratorium on coal mining on US federal lands. This is aimed to increase coal production and consumption in the US. The US is already the second largest coal consumer in the world after China. Its per capita coal consumption is five times higher than India’s.
- calls for immediate review of all rules and cancels, revises or revokes any rule or action that can potentially burden the development of domestic energy resources. This is aimed at increasing the production of all fossil fuel resources, especially shale oil and gas. This, when the US produces more gas than Russia and more oil than Saudi Arabia.
- revokes six previous Presidential Executive Orders on climate change issued by the Obama administration, including one on setting standards for carbon pollution from the power sector. The US power sector is a major emitter of greenhouse gases — in 2015, it was responsible for emitting 2 billion tonne of carbon dioxide, more than what India emitted from all its economic sectors.
- initiates an immediate review of the clean power plan (CPP) initiative. CPP is a regulation that aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from US power plants by 32 per cent below their 2005 emissions level, by 2030. The CPP was the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s climate change initiative to meet the US’s modest commitments under the Paris Agreement to reduce GHG emissions by 26-28 per cent from 2005 levels, by 2025.