The Supreme Court's decision in West Virginia v. EPA is a distressing setback for U.S. climate action, imperiling federal efforts to cut carbon emissions in half by the end of this decade. At odds with legal precedent, the ruling weakens America’s ability to meet its public climate commitments. It also endangers the international community’s ability to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
The burning of fossil fuels is the leading cause of climate change, and the United States is the world's second largest carbon emitter, producing one-seventh of annual greenhouse gas emissions. America's sense of responsibility, committed action and global leadership are urgently needed; the Court’s decision is now a hurdle in its way.
Additionally, the ruling “ignores the interconnected structure of the power sector and imposes unnecessary limits on the pollution reduction options EPA can consider, which will result in higher costs and worse air pollution across the United States,” writes the World Resources Institute.
The decision “sides with special interests that have waged a long-term campaign to strip away our right to breathe clean air,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “We cannot and will not ignore the danger to public health and existential threat the climate crisis poses.”
Nearly 70% of Americans believe that if we don’t act now, climate change is going to cost more later. We cannot afford to go backwards—doing so would mean more lives lost, livelihoods ruined, communities harmed, businesses threatened and critical infrastructure destroyed.
The B Team urgently calls on Congress to take federal action that accelerates a just transition to clean energy. Leaders must lead—to save our planet, restore nature and secure humanity’s future.