By Annie Sneed
This week Pres. Donald Trump dealt a blow to global warming mitigation efforts with his executive order on energy. The president’s directive intends to “promote energy independence and economic growth,” according to the order—mainly by rolling back Obama-era climate policies. The order’s chief target is the Clean Power Plan, which requires the power sector to reduce its carbon emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by TK date. It also initiates a review of methane regulations for the oil and gas industry and lifts a freeze on federal land leases for coal mining, among other actions. The executive order does not withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord but the nation will likely not meet its greenhouse gas emission targets if Trump’s directive succeeds.
Scientific American spoke with Jeffrey Sachs, one of the world’s leading experts on economic development, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on the Millennium Development Goals, about how the White House’s executive order will affect the climate, national economy and international community.
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