European Union chastises U.S. for undermining climate-change fight

US President Donald Trump speaks to members of the National Governors Association and his administration in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 27, 2017.

Trump signs against United States efforts to combat climate changeA new order from U.S. President Donald Trump lifting rules meant to combat climate change.

The Energy Independence Executive Order suspends more than half a dozen measures enacted by his predecessor, and boosts fossil fuels.

The order's main target is former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants - a key factor in the United States' ability to meet its commitments under a climate change accord reached by almost 200 countries in Paris in 2015.

Furthermore, Trump's order rescinds Obama's executive order that encouraged agencies to prepare for changes in Earth's climate.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order (EO) aimed at lifting bans and limitations for the fossil fuel and nuclear industry while voiding a number of Obama-era climate policies.

Trump has long denied the existence of climate change and during the campaign, he vowed to pull America out of the Paris climate deal agreed in 2015 by some 200 countries.

The rule also eliminates an Obama-era rule restricting fracking on public lands and a separate rule that requires energy companies to provide data on methane emissions at oil and gas operations.

"Together, California and NY represent approximately 60 million people - almost one-in-five Americans - and 20 percent of the nation's gross domestic product", Cuomo and Brown said in their statement.

The order also takes on several other energy industry regulations, such as the moratorium on new coal mining leases on federal land and limits on methane emissions in oil and gas extraction.

The official at one point appeared to break with mainstream climate science, denying familiarity with widely publicized concerns about the potential adverse economic impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and more extreme weather. "It's embarrassing to us and our businesses on a global scale to be dismissing opportunities for new technologies, economic growth, and USA leadership".

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., accused Trump of "ignoring the threat of climate change", which will damage the USA economy.

The order begins the process of dismantling the Clean Power Plan and focuses on bringing back jobs to the coal industry.

Figueres argues the opposite: that as demand for renewable energy and jobs in the sector grow globally, Trump's policy changes will leave the United States straggling behind other world powers in clean technology jobs.

"We won't hesitate to protect those we serve - including by aggressively opposing in court President Trump's actions that ignore both the law and the critical importance of confronting the very real threat of climate change", Schneiderman said in the statement.

"I'm actually deeply concerned for the USA economy", Figueres said.

But Trump's promise runs counter to market forces, including USA utilities converting coal-fired power plants to cheaper, cleaner-burning natural gas. "Natural gas prices have plummeted, renewable energy production - whether it be solar or wind - are now cost competitive in some states, even more competitive than coal", said Amin Asadollahi, the International Institute for Sustainable Development's lead for climate change mitigation for North America. "Previously, the social cost of carbon has pegged at $40 per ton of CO2 and has been used to conduct cost benefit analysis of new policy decisions". All this makes Mr. Trump's emphasis on reviving mining in the uphill task. By contrast, renewable energy — including wind, solar and biofuels — now accounts for more than 650,000



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