Now that the executive order to roll back many Obama era's environmental regulations has been revealed, many observers lay their eyes on the fate of the Clean Power Plan which has been seriously challenged by many states. A Congressional Research Service Report provides useful information on the legal background of CPP and pending litigation in the case: West Virginia v. EPA.
When it comes to cutting back on carbon emissions, conservatives and liberals offer different solutions. A group of prominent conservative economists are making a case for climate action through carbon dividends.
Carbon tax and cap-and-trade are two common mitigation policies to curb carbon emission. Either has its own advantages and disadvantages. Both are means to achieve the same end: reducing carbon emission by pricing carbon. WRI put together a report comparing pros and cons of either policy.
Now that the national effort to curb carbon emission may stall, all eyes are on cities. Cities are both major contributors to CO2 emission and in the front line to face the dire consequences of climate change since "90 percent of urban areas in the world are coastal." Coastal areas are under imminent threats of sea level rise, flooding, storm surge, etc. This actually creates a situation to avoid the tragedy of the commons. Big cities around the world like the C40 group have already started making serious attempts to cut carbon emission, which gives us hope that the daunting global problem can find a local solution.
Many environmentalists are deeply fearful of the way Trump administration would deal with environmental, climate, and energy issues in the coming years. Many observers are pessimistic about the future of environmental and climate laws and even EPA under a Trump administration and a Republican-controlled congress.
Harvard law professor Jody Freeman, who specializes in environmental and energy laws, points out, "the picture is significantly more complicated, and markedly less bleak." Further, "While Trump may try to rescind a number of regulations, the process would be long, arduous and only partially successful. Moreover, any broad legislative attack on environmental statutes is unlikely to succeed without a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, which the Republicans do not have."
President Obama's climate policy - the key component Clean Power Plan, is in danger with the newly elected president Trump coming to office. Environmentalists and climate activists are weeping in sorrow. Meanwhile, at the UN climate talks, nations expressed their willingness to push forward without the U.S. being on board.