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The Supreme Court Now Attacks Climate Change

Supreme Court justices in the United States have limited the power of the body that regulates the environment in the country. A delicate decision for the fight against climate change.

Industrial machinery emitting gases

Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | María Fernanda Ramírez Ramos

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Leer en español: El Tribunal Supremo ataca ahora la lucha contra el cambio climático

The Supreme Court, with a conservative majority, after expanding the right to carry firearms in public and attacking abortion, with the "Roe vs. Wade" case, has taken a step that would endanger the fight against climate change in the United States United States and, consequently, in the world, as the North American country is one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases.

This court has issued a ruling in the case known as "West Virginia v. EPA," by which it limits the power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With this measure, it intends to limit the ability of the EPA to impose limits on greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, the main responsible for climate change and global warming. In this sense, it takes away from the Agency the ability to give guidelines at the national level, despite the fact that it does not modify any law or restriction. Thus, the States will have more power to decide their greenhouse gas emission policies, something very dangerous to achieve the climate goals that the United Nations has set. This is a setback, because to implement any environmental measure it will be necessary to go through Congress, which is not favorable to the Democratic Party, who mainly promote the fight against climate change.

In fact, this decision deals a serious blow to the Biden government, which in itself was already being a failure in environmental matters, despite the fact that he championed the issue so much in his campaign. Consequently, it will be more difficult to meet the goals that Biden had set for himself in climate matters for 2050. It is necessary to remember that the president rejoined the Paris Agreement, from which Trump had left, and created the first National Working Group about the weather. Their commitment was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, transition to green energy by 2035, achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 , and return 40% of the benefits of clean economies to disadvantaged communities. In this regard, the official website of the White House ensures that the climate issue is a priority: "The Biden administration will ensure that we comply with the demands of science, as we empower American workers and businesses to lead the clean energy revolution "

We recommend you read: Why is Biden Breaking his Environmental Promises?

With this decision taken by six votes in favor and three against, the suspicions that the Supreme Court would go for more after the controversial decision in the "Roe vs. Wade" case are confirmed. In short, this decision constitutes a setback in environmental matters, which endangers the fight for climate change in the rest of the planet , since the United States has historically been the first or second most polluting country, on a par with China. The situation is aggravated if one takes into account that in the mid-term elections, which will take place in November, a third of the Senate and the House will be renewed. In this way, the Democrats could ultimately lose their supporters.

However, the Supreme Court's decision opens up new fears, since it also opens the way for other rulings to be reviewed, for progressive rights to be questioned, or for the capacity of other agencies, such as health agencies, to be limited. The current Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Regan, expressed his disagreement with the decision in a statement on his Twitter account. "The decision restricts what we do. But let me be clear. It does not take us out of the game. We will still be able to regulate climate pollution," he said in an interview for the Public Broadcasting Service, the public television network in the United States.