President Trump signing the Executive Order
New Trump Executive Order Rolls Back Climate Regulation

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order rolling back much of former President Obama’s climate change policy. The Energy Independence Executive Order suspends more than a dozen of Obama’s measures.

Business groups have praised Trump, as the President said that this would put an end to the ‘war on coal’ and ‘job killing regulations’. Trump had indicated that he planned to tear up environmental regulations and international agreements including the Paris Agreement on the campaign trail.

Environmental groups have reacted in horror, and America’s commitment to the Paris Agreement is now in further doubt. One of the initiatives scrapped was the Clean Power Plan, which requires states to cut emissions and formed part of the USA’s Nationally Declared Contribution communicated to the UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement.

Read: The state of the Paris Agreement post-Trump

At the signing ceremony, Trump said:

"My administration is putting an end to the war on coal.

With today's executive action I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations."

The Executive Order will also reduce regulations that limit methane emissions from the oil industry, and make it easier to sell coal leases from federal lands.

The United States could fail to meet, or even attempt to meet, the targets set out in its Nationally Determined Contribution, and still be a party to the Paris Agreement. The Agreement requires states to report on their emissions and progress towards implementation, but does not impose penalties should a country fail to do so.

Tom Steyer, an American environmental campaigner, said:

"These actions are an assault on American values and they endanger the health, safety and prosperity of every American,

I think it is a climate destruction plan in place of a climate action plan,"

The NRDC, among other environmental groups, has said that they will fight the executive order in court.