Trumps administration has pursued cuts in environmental protections that are critical to the health of all Americans
Donald Trump is set to hail his administrations environmental leadership on Monday in a speech in which he is expected to declare the US a world leader on the issue.
But since taking office two and a half years ago, the US president has been at the helm of an administration that has pursued numerous cuts in environmental protections and last year saw a rise in greenhouse gases of 3.4% the biggest rise in emissions since 2010.
He has also regularly publicly aired his doubts over the existence of climate change previously calling it a hoax, suggesting that the climate could change back again and falsely claiming it was a phenomenon invented by China.
A report by the State Energy and Environmental Impact Center at New York Universitys school of law published in March said the Trump administration had set its sights on watering down or outright repealing a half-dozen health and environmental rules critical to the health and welfare of all Americans as well as the planet.
Here are five of the biggest environmental setbacks under Trump:
1) Departure from the Paris climate agreement
In June 2017, less than five months after his inauguration, Trump announced his plan to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement. He told an audience outside the White House: I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris. He claimed the agreement, signed by the US and nearly 200 countries in 2015, promising to cut greenhouse gas emissions to keep global heating below 2C, unfairly disadvantaged the US and negatively impacted jobs and factories.
2) Shrinking national monuments and animal protections
Trump attracted broad criticism in December 2017 when he announced plans to slash the size of two national monuments in Utah. Bears Ears was cut from 1.5m acres to 228,784 acres and Grand Staircase-Escalante almost halved from approximately 2m acres to 1,006,341 acres marking the biggest elimination of public lands protection in Americas history. In August 2018 officials announced plans to allow more mining on the land and to sell some of it off despite previously vowing not to. The following month, the administration announced plans to remove key provisions from the Endangered Species Act prompting conservationists to warn it could put vulnerable plant and animal species in more danger.
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