Reversing Environmental Rules and Regulations

Commercial Quadrupedal Robots
March 10, 2020
Deep Learning for Food Recognition
March 10, 2020

Reversing Environmental Rules and Regulations

Some governments around the world are now relaxing or eliminating rules and regulations designed to mitigate human-caused environmental damage.

Key Insight

While citizens are demanding action on climate change, some governments around the world are now relaxing or eliminating rules and regulations designed to mitigate human-caused environmental damage.

Why It Matters

Thousands of scientists are warning that as temperatures and sea levels rise faster than originally projected, the impact of climate change will drastically change life as we know it.

Examples

New research from Columbia Law School, Harvard Law School and the New York Times revealed that the Trump administration has rolled back more than 90 environmental rules and regulations since taking office. It replaced the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which set strict limits on carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants and instead allowed states to set their own rules. It also relaxed a Clinton-era regulation that limited toxic industrial emissions. And it cut the reach of the Clean Water Act, removing millions of miles of streams and about half of America’s wetlands from federal protection.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate skeptic, has pushed to open the Amazon rainforest to business and agribusiness. When fires ravaged the rainforests last year, he dismissed conservation efforts and said that pro-conservation NGOs had intentionally set the fires in an effort to undermine him.

What’s Next

There are a number of global initiatives designed to combat and mitigate the effects of climate change, but ultimately each country designs and implements its own regulations. The United Nations Global Compact initiative is trying a different route, helping the world’s corporations to achieve sustainable development goals by 2030.

Impact

Climate change impacts our global supply of food, human health, and our ability to work and move around, and disrupts the complex ecosystems in which we live.

Watchlist

United Nations, as well as companies and governments worldwide.