Clean Power Plan | In August 2015 the United States President Barack Obama unveiled his most important environmental regulation, the Clean Power Plan. This sought ‘to limit carbon emissions from coal- and gas-fired power stations. It is considered crucial to America’s chances of fulfilling its commitment under the Paris accord to cut its emissions, by 2025, to 26-28% below their 2005 level,’ (‘Up in smoke?’, The Economist 26th November 2016, p.52).

The Clean Power Plan ‘directed states to work out how to cut emissions from power plants to avoid pollution equivalent to the exhausts from 80m cars by 2030. The policy was meant to get America almost halfway to meeting its pledge to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2025, as measured against 2005 levels, for the Paris agreement (which seeks to limit global warming to “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures). But legal challenges from 27 states and several companies saw the Clean Power Plan put on hold by the Supreme Court a little over a year ago,’ (‘Down and dirty’, The Economist 01st April 2017, p.34). The rule got tied up in the courts, and never went into effect.