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Anticipating Environmental, Climate Policy Under Next President
What could the future of environmental and climate policy in the U.S. look like under a continued Donald Trump administration or a new Joe Biden presidency?
Mark Nevitt is an associate professor of law and an expert in environmental and climate change law at Syracuse University’s College of Law. Professor Nevitt says the divide will be sharp between the two possible leaders.
“There is a sharp divide between the Biden administration and the Trump administration on climate and environmental policies. Under Trump’s current EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, the administration has rolled back numerous environmental regulations. A second-term Trump administration would continue to roll back environmental regulations and fast-track major projects. Any discussion of climate change has been absent from the Trump presidency and campaign.
“In contrast, a Biden administration would likely seek to do two things on climate—one international and one domestic. Internationally, a Biden administration would most certainly re-join the Paris Climate Accord, an executive agreement that the Trump administration is in the process of withdrawing from (the Obama Administration negotiated this landmark international agreement in 2015). As a legal matter, re-joining the Paris Agreement does not require Senate advice and consent. As the world’s largest historic greenhouse gas emitter, having the U.S. integrated within the Paris Accord serves as a critical step for follow-on climate efforts.
“Domestically, the Biden Administration would certainly push to pass domestic climate legislation to better regulate greenhouse gas emissions with the goal of massively reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (so-called ‘net zero emissions’).”
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