Amid worsening global warming and warnings from scientists and experts that it is “now or never” to avert climate disaster, the Supreme Court has decided to aggressively limit the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate emissions.
Experts say that the Supreme Court decision is condemning everyone alive.
It is mandatory for greenhouse gas emissions to be drastically cut in order to warn off the worst of climate change. But in its latest massively controversial decision, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority sided in favor of leading coal producer West Virginia.
In West Virginia v. EPA, West Virginia was suing for the EPA to have less regulatory power over existing power plants without express authorization from Congress under the Clean Air Act.
Climate experts say the ruling is “devastating.”
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report found that unless countries across the planet aggressively cut emissions, limiting global warming to 1.5C will be impossible. It’s now or never for climate disaster, the IPCC warned grimly.
If the 1.5C threshold is exceeded, there will be catastrophes across the planet. The harm to humans and to the environment from climate change will become excessively dangerous, and affect nearly every aspect of human life. It will cause mass climate migration and make adaptation everywhere more and more difficult.
Regulating how many emissions come from fossil fuel plants is a vital piece of climate mitigation. The power sector is the second-largest planet-warming polluter in the United States, responsible for a massive 25 percent of the country’s emissions.
The new ruling means that the U.S. climate targets could be shattered. President Joe Biden’s climate targets include cleaning up the electric power grid in order to meet a national goal of 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035 and to be net-zero by 2050.
Now the EPA will have to go back to ground zero to come up with a federal program that the conservative court may approve.
Experts say the Supreme Court sided with the fossil fuel industry over the health and safety of the American people.