Trump’s Climate Cuts Will Add Millions of Extra Tons of CO2 to the Air

GR: Even if the next U. S. president reverses Trump’s policies, there will still be a large quantity of extra greenhouse-gas emissions. Moreover, simple reversal will not meet our commitments under the Paris treaty; we had much left to do when Obama left office. The effect of our leadership failure on emissions by other countries is hard to calculate. Will our bad example will inspire the others to excel?

President Trump’s efforts to roll back existing climate change policies will have a delayed but prolonged effect, according to a new analysis. Credit: DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images

“President Donald Trump’s planned climate change policies could lead to an extra half a billion tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2025, according to a new analysis. That is equal to the annual electricity emissions of 60 percent of U.S. homes.

“Climate Advisers, a Washington consultancy, predicts that U.S. carbon emissions, which have been falling, will begin to flatten or increase by 2020 if the Trump administration succeeds in repealing the Clean Power Plan and other Obama-era regulations.

“In other words, decisions made today will have a delayed effect—but a prolonged one.

“We found that the ‘Trump Effect’ really begins to bite into the U.S. emissions trajectory in 2025—since many of the factors influencing today’s emissions trajectory can’t be reversed quickly,” the report said.

“The analysis assumes that some regulations are more vulnerable than others to rollbacks. The Clean Power Plan to curb carbon emissions from power plants, methane rules covering the oil and gas industry and a handful of efficiency regulations are “highly vulnerable” in the consulting firm’s view, either because they’re high profile or because they haven’t been fully implemented. If these are the only rules the Trump administration is able to repeal, it would erase 332 million metric tons of carbon pollution cuts, Climate Advisers projected.

“If, however, the Trump administration succeeds also in eliminating “moderately vulnerable” rules—those controlling landfill emissions, potent refrigeration gases such as HFCs and several energy efficiency standards—another 229 million tons of projected emissions cuts would not happen, the report finds.

“Although the Obama administration policies alone were not enough to get the U.S. to its goal under the Paris climate agreement, Climate Advisers said Trump’s policies would stall or increase the nation’s decline in emissions. The U.S. pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, and it’s currently only a third of the way there.

“The Climate Advisers report is one of several recent efforts to quantify the potential climate impact of the Trump administration’s energy and environmental policies. InsideClimate News previously compiled a chart showing how the U.S. would have virtually no chance of meeting its Paris promise under Trump, based on estimates by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the emissions cuts achievable with each of Obama’s policies.” –Marianne Lavelle (Continue:  Trump’s Climate Cuts Could Result in Half-Billion Extra Tons of CO2 in the Air | InsideClimate News.)

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