USA to regard greenhouse gases as pollutants


Today’s article is about the United States’ first step to limit carbon dioxide emissions one day. We will outline below why this is good news for the fight against climate change. As you surely know, the USA are one of the only developed countries that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, hence the importance of today’s article.

This week, the US Supreme Court asked the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate road transportations greenhouse gases emissions.
According to the International Herald Tribune :

” The ruling does not force the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate auto emissions, but the agency would almost certainly face further legal action if it fails to do so.

In one of its most important environmental decisions in years, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 on Monday that the agency has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases in automobile emissions.

The court further ruled that the agency could not sidestep its authority to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change unless it could provide a scientific basis for its refusal. “

For the moment, this is only applicable to cars and trucks emissions. But to me, this IS undoubtedly good news as road transportation represent roughly 25 percent of the US greenhouse gases emissions.

Recognizing that there is a problem is an important step. This just has been done by the US Federal Government as well as a first step on action. To me this is truly historical.

Minds are changing in the United States, and this in the good direction. I indeed knew that some US States and cities are prone to decrease their polluting emissions, but nothing was done at the Federal level.

Prior to this decision, greenhouse gases were simply not regarded by the US federal government as pollutants. I think that to most Europeans, including me, this is quite peculiar. But from now on the problem will be tackled as you can read below from the IHT article :

(…) there has been a growing interest among industry groups in working with environmental organizations on proposals for emissions limits.

Dave McCurdy, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the main industry trade group, said in response to the decision that the alliance “looks forward to working constructively with both Congress and the administration” in addressing the issue.

To conclude this article, I would like to state that sometimes it seems, only the bad news are talked about. This good news coming from the United States have not been talked about by national media in France.

The sole and only media that talked about this in France is Terra Economica a newspaper tackling among many subjects economics and ecology. This is one of the finest information source regarding these topics, if not the finest.

If you happen to read French, I strongly recommend you this newspaper. It can be read both with online and paper versions.

I discovered it thanks to one of my colleague at the Audencia Nantes Management School, Olivier Delteil. I take the opportunity to thank him here as it sure is very interesting to read. As a matter of facts, Terra Economica is so great I used it to write a part of my Master’s thesis.

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