President Barack Obama is set to present the US’ most ambitious climate change plans to date, but they come fiercely opposed by both his political rivals and the energy sector.
The Obama administration will reveal state-specific details of the initiative, called the clean power plan, on Monday, but overall it will impose reductions of carbon emissions from US power plants by 32 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
The clean power plan faces legal challenges, however, with incensed coal companies as well as Obama’s Republican rivals calling it a “war on coal”. At least 10 states are gearing up for lawsuits challenging the White House plans, which will likely close more coal power station as renewables like wind and solar get a further boost.
White House adviser Brian Deese comments that the new rules are the “biggest step that any single president has made to curb the carbon pollution that is fuelling climate change”.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the initiative will yield $34-54bn by 2030, with carbon cuts resulting in fewer illnesses and premature deaths, while costing $8.4bn.
This initiative is presented just weeks after the US private sector pledged $140bn to green finance, as the White House hopes that ambitious commitments to cutting emissions will put the US in a stronger position to negotiate a strong global deal at the Paris summit in December.