The Supreme Court has dealt a serious blow to the fight against the climate crisis. The US Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had no authority to set CO2 limits.
After repealing abortion rights, the US Supreme Court has now rolled back what has been achieved in the fight against global warming. The Supreme Court severely limited President Joe Biden’s administration in its powers to fight climate change by ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency EPA could not set limits on CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants. The decision is a heavy blow to Biden’s climate policy. The United Nations also sharply criticized the Supreme Court’s verdict.
The limits for coal-fired power plants were introduced in 2015 under then-President Barack Obama, who, like Biden, is a Democrat. He had given the EPA broad powers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While Republican Donald Trump wanted to weaken the EPA, Biden planned to continue on the course Obama had set.
Supreme Court: CO2 limit values reasonable, but …
The chief justices have now said that capping CO2 emissions to move away from coal-fired power generation could be “a sensible solution” to the fight against global warming. However, the EPA has not been specifically given the authority by lawmakers to set industry-wide limits, only for individual power plants.
The decision was made by a majority of six of the nine Chief Justices. The three dissenting votes came from the liberal camp, which has been in the minority since Trump’s tenure on the Supreme Court.
UN: “Setback in the fight against climate change”
The three liberal judges contradicted the assessment of their conservative colleagues: The government at the time very well gave the EPA the necessary powers. “Today, the court will strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the powers Congress gave it to respond to ‘the most pressing environmental challenge of our time,'” they criticized their conservative peers.
Unusual: There was also clear criticism of the decision from the United Nations. “This is a setback in our fight against climate change,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spokesman Stéphane Dujarric on Thursday. “Decisions like today’s in the US or any other major emitting economy make it difficult to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.” After the current decision, it will be very difficult for the USA to achieve its climate goals.