The US Supreme Court ruled on February 9th to temporarily block the Obama administration’s decision to implement increased regulations on coal-fired power plants. This decision could be a major blow to the historic agreement that arose from the Paris climate talks. (Previous article on this topic)

At the request of 27 states, as well as companies and industrial groups, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to suspend the implementations. The regulations would require states to cut carbon emissions from power plants, and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a third, with 2005 levels being 0, by 2030. It would also see further implementation of wind and solar energy as states made up for lost coal-power in conjunction with tax cuts to clean energy sources.

18 states were in opposition to the decision to halt the regulations, mostly those hit hardest by climate change so far. A Federal Appeals court will hear arguments on June 2nd and will make its decision later this year. No matter what the decision ends up being an appeal will most likely take place. If overturned the EPA will have to draw up a new regulation and attempt to pass it again.

A major part of getting nearly every country on earth to agree to cutting carbon emissions was the United States assurances that they would be taking a leading role in instituting strong policies to combat climate change. Since the Supreme Court decision, diplomats from other countries have already began to express concern that the suspension would begin to unravel the Paris climate agreements.

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