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Commentary By Oren Cass

Trump Order Misses the Mark on Climate Change

Energy Climate

Climate change is happening; the question is what to do about it. President Obama had one answer: reduce greenhouse-gas emissions aggressively.

Unfortunately, his approach was heavy on cost and light on benefit, and with yesterday’s executive order rolling back those efforts, President Trump has rightly begun the process of reversing it.

But President Trump's own response to climate change appears to be: nothing. That’s not the right answer either.

Most climate policy falls into one of two categories: There is “mitigation,” which means trying to prevent climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions -- think wind farms. And then there is “adaptation,” which means dealing well with whatever change occurs -- think sea walls.

The basic problem with Obama’s mitigation-focused approach is that the overwhelming majority of future emissions will come from the developing world as it grows rapidly. U.S. policy has shown little ability to influence that trend, even when we make brave commitments to incur large costs ourselves.

We can -- and should -- invest in developing new technologies that might....

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Oren Cass is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here.

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