Trump signs against USA efforts to combat climate change

"We are willing to work with the worldwide community to strengthen dialogue and cooperation, to join hands to promote the process of tackling climate change to jointly promote green, low carbon sustainable development for the whole world, to create an even better future for the next generation".

Environmental groups have lashed out at Trump's order saying that it is risky and also against the broader global initiative toward cleaner energy technologies.

They said: "Dismantling the Clean Power Plan and other critical climate programs is profoundly misguided and shockingly ignores basic science".

His repeated questioning of humans' role in warming the planet had prompted environmentalist critics to charge the fox is guarding the hen house. The state generated about 44 percent of its electricity from coal in 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration.

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., said the order was good news for West Virginia, its coal miners and its economy. "Really clean coal", Trump said in a speech before signing the executive order.

Trump's order suspends the D.C. circuit court from reviewing President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which aimed to cut back USA emissions at power plants by 32 percent below levels emitted in 2005 by 2030. The regulation - Obama's signature effort to curb carbon emissions - has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas.

Former president Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping committed to cooperate on two other global environmental agreements, an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down air-conditioning refrigerants and on a market-based measure to reduce carbon emissions from aviation.

"Coal is not coming back", Van Noppen added.

Trump's order also lifts the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management temporary ban on coal leasing on federal property put in place by Obama in 2016 as part of a review to study the programme's impact on climate change and ensure royalty revenues were fair to taxpayers.

President Trump says, by reviewing the regulations, his administration is "ending the war on coal". 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.

"It will make it virtually impossible" for the USA to meet its target said Bob Ward, a climate specialist at the London School of Economics.

Activists worry that Trump's order will undermine years of environmental progress: Even though the Clean Power Plan is tied up in court and not being enforced, about 85 percent of states are on track to meet its emissions-cutting goals anyway.

Trump's Environmental Protection Agency chief, Scott Pruitt, alarmed environmental groups and scientists earlier this month when he said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. Greenhouse gases like Carbon di oxide and methane primarily contribute to climatic change.

Officials said the order "will look back and it will look forward", providing the framework for a new Trump-era energy framework that will emphasize more production, more jobs and fewer environmental safeguards.

  • Leroy Wright