In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of a climate change plaintiff who was awarded $15.6 million in damages for the devastating effects of climate change on her home.
In doing so, the court affirmed the authority of states to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and the protection of people and property from environmental damage.
While this case did not involve an individual, the ruling was a landmark victory for the plaintiffs, and represents a new direction for climate justice, said Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor at Georgetown Law School and an expert in environmental justice.
“It’s a huge step forward,” he said.
“The court reaffirmed the need for states to develop and implement regulations that protect the environment.”
The ruling was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, and it was joined by Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.
The decision means that states can now regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
The ruling has huge implications for the future of climate justice and the fight against climate change, Jacobson said.
While the decision could lead to more states creating and regulating greenhouse gas regulations, states are also still free to enact laws that restrict greenhouse gas production.
The court has been reviewing the legality of the Clean Power Plan since it was enacted in 2020.
The rule sets emissions standards for coal-fired power plants.
Under the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2020, the states must establish policies and measures to combat climate change and reduce the impact of climate-driven weather events on power generation.
The Supreme Court will decide in June whether the federal government should continue to enforce the Clean Clean Power Rules, which would make the regulations permanent and require the states to set carbon emissions targets.
The states and the Trump administration have long argued that the rule would cost the economy billions of dollars, hurt business and create job-killing regulations.
The Trump administration has argued that states should be free to set their own emissions limits.
But states have long contended that such limits would hurt them economically and cause them to relocate or lay off workers.
“There’s no doubt that climate change poses a real threat to our nation’s economic future,” said Anthony Fauci, a senior legal fellow at the Center for American Progress and a former federal prosecutor.
“States can’t just say ‘yes’ to that because they are subject to the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental protections.
That’s a fundamental difference.”
The Clean Power Act requires states to reduce emissions by as much as 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
While states have the power to set individual goals for emissions, they must set those goals in a way that minimizes the impact on the economy and protects human health and the environment.
In addition, states must use “cap-and-trade” technology to impose emissions caps.
Under cap-and for-trade, states will set targets and limit emissions to reduce their greenhouse gas output.
The Obama administration, which passed the Clean power Plan in 2015, set the 2020 emissions limit for power plants at 25 percent above 2005 levels.
That law was signed by President Obama.
“I’ve been saying since the beginning that the CleanPower Plan is the biggest and most sweeping climate change regulation the country has ever had,” President Trump said at the signing ceremony.
“We will be putting this on the books in the near future.
We will have the biggest, most costly regulation on the planet, and we will be making a huge difference.”
Trump and his team are already considering a slew of other policies to curb greenhouse gas pollution.
The White House has proposed a “Climate Tax,” which would impose a $1,000 per ton fee on every dollar of emissions produced by new coal-burning power plants and new oil and gas wells.
It would also include a “cap and trade” tax, which is modeled after the Clean air Act.
A bill called the Clean Technology Investment Act would impose taxes on new energy technologies and technology products.
Other bills would create incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emission from fossil fuels and encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy, such as solar, wind and biofuels.
The administration has proposed eliminating the Clean Development Mechanism, which gives states a special tax credit for renewable energy projects.